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LCCI for ground-reality based tax reforms

LCCI for ground-reality based tax reforms

LAHORE: Taxation system needs reforms based on ground realities and due consultation process with the stakeholders to ensure result-oriented policies for the businessmen.

Harmonization in tax system across the country is also a must to get rid of the issue of dual taxation.

Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Malik Tahir Javaid said in media statement here Wednesday that though amnesty scheme was a good step to bring out-of-country capital into the country but these could not be productive until and unless major issues like withholding tax on banking transactions were resolved.

LCCI President stressed the need for making the existing system economically neutral, taxpayer-friendly, equitable, progressive as well  as facilitative and supportive to generate healthy business activities for all.

“Taxation is, of course, important source of revenue collection but tax policies must be based on the best international practices and universally accepted canons of taxation,” he added.

He expressed the concern that with the existing narrow tax-base, the policymakers should revolutionize the tax policy options instead of burdening the existing taxpayers whether corporate, (LSE&SME) salaried, individuals and certain other documented sectors of the economy. He called for giving an end to withholding tax regime, tariff structures leading to protectionism and creating hurdles so as to promote the domestic industry.

He suggested Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) must remove various distortions in the existing tax policies by giving due consideration to the feedback of all the representatives of business organizations. It was universally an admitted fact that public policy makers could make noticeable difference by linking their mindset to ground realities.

Malik Tahir Javaid blamed the tax department’s officials of misusing Section 38-B of Sales Tax Act 1990 and paying unnecessary visits to markets and go downs that perturbed business people. “We are of the view that teams from tax department should visit the markets, if indispensable, but they should be bound to follow due process,” he said and asserted  that FBR should convene a meeting to be attended by all the Chambers of Commerce, prominent representatives bodies, associations and lay down uniform and transparent policy guidelines for the field formation.

LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid said that a number  of taxes and frequency of paying taxes must be reduced, adding that taxes should be paid quarterly instead of every month and for that matter, all para-tariffs must be merged into the main tariffs.  Similarly, there should be electronic communication between taxpayers and tax departments, he said and claimed that these proposals could make noticeable difference and win the confidence of taxpayers.