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Taxpayer education one of FBR’s core functions: Member FATE

Taxpayer education one of FBR’s core functions: Member FATE

ISLAMABAD: Member Facilitation and Taxpayer Education (FATE) in the FBR Headquarters, Ms. Riffat Shaheen Qazi, said that we are planning to start detailed workshops and awareness raising programmes for university students regarding income and other tax laws and amendments made in these laws. Apart from large scale conferences being conducted in different chambers of commerce and FBR’s other organs, a specialist will also be a part of these conferences to help resolve the issues regarding tax policy, customs, income and sales tax and federal excise duty (FED).

In an exclusive interview with Customs Today, Member FATE Ms. Riffat Shaheen who is official spokesperson of FBR said that we provide facilitation at different levels including individual taxpayers, tax bars, chambers, clearing and forwarding agents and withholding agents. The major role of the department also includes the interaction with all departments of FBR which resolves their queries and problems mainly through mails, helpline and web. Its online system has been upgraded and the department deals with the grievances under Section 7 of FBR Act. The complainant or aggrieved party registers complaints with the concerned wing through proper channel by submitting all the required material so that their problems can be resolved at the earliest.

She said, “We strive to promote and mobilise the system by printing brochures as well as sending messages. We are proactive and responsive and for this purpose we update our website regularly. For the convenience and facilitation we work properly online along with GIZ (German NGO), where we arrange workshops for internal and external stakeholders on regular basis. In addition we will have extensive awareness campaigns this year.”

“One of the major issues we are facing is lack of communication between taxpayers and tax authorities. The middle men — advisors and consultants — are creating hurdles. There is a facilitation wing at every RTO including commissioner for facilitation. The taxpayer should directly approach the facilitation wing so that he/she can get relief on the spot. The taxpayer can approach the wing through web and phone,” she added.

Talking about FBR’s deficit in the first quarter’s revenue collection, she said that first quarter cannot give us the actual position as second and third quarters present the real picture of revenue collections because these months can be called months of real returns. We do facilitate the taxpayer if a taxpayer wants to make advance payments. After assessing the last year’s tax, he can be facilitated by installments but this facility is only provided to those taxpayers only who make advance tax payments and then the remaining amount is collected in the fourth and final quarter. The fourth quarter is basically the assessment quarter by FBR itself.

In answer to a query she pointed out the key role of FATE wing which is one of the most important departments of FBR since it organises advertisement campaigns, and is responsible for news and press releases for FBR.

She said that unregistered businesses which do not pay sales tax should go for registration as early as possible. Replying a query, she said the CREST and WeBOC systems launched by FBR are very effective and useful. But these systems sometimes develop errors which are resolved immediately. In this regard FBR has appointed a separate IT member for efficient working and elimination of errors in WeBOC and CREST. In addition to this FBR is now moving towards ITMs integrated system, she concluded.