Self-assessment scheme to end FBR harassment: Shaukat Tarin

Web DeskWeb Editor

20th Aug, 2021. 02:51 pm

Hi KARACHI: The Universal Self-Assessment Scheme (USAS) has been reintroduced to facilitate taxpayers and end harassment by taxmen, a senior government official said on Friday.

Addressing the members of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) during his visit to Karachi Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said: “[The] Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been kept out of the tax audit and it will be done through the third party.”

“Notices will be sent to persons on identification of discrepancies and on non-compliance major action of arrest may be taken,” he added.

The government withdrew the USAS two years ago. However, it was restored in the recent budget. The USAS allows a person to declare voluntarily his income and assets and the declaration will be deemed accepted once it is submitted.

However, identification of major discrepancy in the returns and the related tax provisions of law will be invoked, the finance minister added.

Tarin also said that broadening the tax base is the priority of the government. In this regard, notices will be issued to the potential taxpayers and audits will be done through third-party.

The finance minister said for broadening the tax base, the government had gathered data from various sources. The data have been obtained from electricity bills, bank deposits and other transactions.

“The FBR has a record of 7.2 million transactions. Another 15 million details are in Nadra,” the finance minister said, adding that notices are being issued. The notices have been issued after 90 per cent surety that the person has concealed income or assets.

He assured the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) that all measures would be taken to facilitate traders and investors.

Tarin said that the budget making was not easy but the government has taken decisions despite the International Monetary Fund (IMF) constraints. Efforts have been made to steer the economy in the right direction, he said, adding: “Policies were introduced to stabilise the economy.”

“We started a regular meeting with the stakeholders on the policies. The prime minister is personally hearing from the business community regarding their problems.”

Talking about retailers, the finance minister said a very low revenue generation was witnessed from this sector.

The point of sale (POS) was implemented and the customers were encouraged to report the issuance of receipts from the POS machines. In this regard, the customers will be given prizes, the finance minister said.

Tarin said that he met officials of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) earlier and discussed the workers’ remittances and the Roshan Digital Account (RDA). The new products were launched to attract remittances, he added.

Discussing the current account balance, he said, the government would try to keep the deficit under control. The finance minister said to contain the deficit the government will focus on enhancing exports.

Tarin also talked about power, agriculture and inflation in detail.

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