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SOPs issued to restore taxpayers’ confidence: Hammad Azhar

SOPs issued to restore taxpayers’ confidence: Hammad Azhar

LAHORE:  Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar Thursday said that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) have already been issued to restore taxpayers’ confidence in the government.

Addressing tax officers at a seminar on ‘International Conference on Taxation’, the state minister asserted that no country could collect taxes based on policies, which could spark anxiety within the business community.

“The country possesses the potential to collect Rs8 trillion in taxes,” Azhar stressed. “However, the collection is stuck at Rs4 trillion, hence reforms are direly required in the country’s tax collection system.”

Referring to a global index, he lamented that Pakistan stood close to the bottom in tax collection mechanism. He outlined that measures to restore tax-payers’ confidence have already been initiated.

“SOPs have been issued to stop raids of tax inspectors on different businesses,” he informed, adding, “We are trying to provide an environment conducive to our businesses because we have to attain their confidence if we wish to increase tax collection.”

The minister disclosed that Pakistan’s business community was unhappy with the Federal Board of Revenue. Different business lobbies and groups have repeatedly expressed concerns on the method that tax inspectors and officers adopted to widen the tax base, the minister regretted.

According to businessmen, many people, who are out of the tax net, wanted to be tax filers but they feared raids from tax inspectors to collect undue favours.

Azhar reiterated that the government was making efforts to simplify the taxation mechanism and was currently involved in pursuing a system for retail sector.