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ICCI calls for fixed tax rate on small businesses to enhance tax net

ICCI calls for fixed tax rate on small businesses to enhance tax net

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry in collaboration with Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP) organized a consultative session with the local business community to know about their tax issues and discuss their optimum solutions.

Addressing the session, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry called upon the government to consider imposition of fixed tax rate on small businesses that would help in enhancing the tax net of the country. He said that the current tax system was very complicated and government should develop a simplified tax return form for small businesses as they could not afford to hire the services of tax consultants. He said government should categorize taxpayers and offer them incentives in commensurate with their paid taxes. He said instead of creating harassment in existing taxpayers, government should focus on bringing new people in tax net.

Speaking at the occasion, the business community highlighted various tax related issues. They said that a startup business, despite filing tax return was treated as non-filer during the first year as he was recognized as filer after 18 months, which was unjustified and FBR should address this anomaly. They said that FBR has made retailers and other businessmen as withholding agents due to which they were facing great problems as instead of focusing on business promotion, they have to spend lot of time on collecting withholding tax. They urged that FBR should abolish this system and collect withholding tax through its own officials to provide relief to the business community. They urged that FBR should separate tax collection, policymaking and enforcement functions to streamline the tax system. They said FBR should thoroughly review its current tax regime in consultation with stakeholders to bring reforms in it. They said instead of issuing repeated audit notices to taxpayers, FBR should exempt regular taxpayers from audit process. They demanded that FBR should reduce sales tax to single digit level and bring down other taxes including taxes on services that would promote tax culture. They said that FBR should ensure timely clearance of sales tax refunds to facilitate the taxpayers.

Adil Amin, Secretary, ICMAP Islamabad Branch Council said that his institute in cooperation with ICCI will hold more consultative sessions with traders and industrialists of the region so that on the basis of their input and feedback, through budget and other proposals could be presented to the government for resolution of taxpayers issues and for enhancing the tax net.