PTBA demands returns filing date extension up to December 31

Shahnawaz AkhterWeb Editor

27th Sep, 2021. 08:10 pm
income tax returns

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) on Monday urged the tax authorities to extend the last date to file the income tax returns for the tax year 2021 up to December 31, 2021 from the existing September 30, 2021.

In a letter to Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the apex tax body highlighted critical issues pertaining to returns filing and updating business account.

The tax bar also highlighted the hacking of the FBR portal and the Covid-19-related difficulties in complying with the statutory requirement of the tax returns filing.

The PTBA is representative of 36 tax bars of the country. It said its member bars, including the Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) had pointed out the technical issues, especially computation of income, which hampered the returns filing.

The PTBA said an important amendment was introduced through the Finance Act, 2021 regarding the update of the business bank account under Section 114A of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

“No doubt, the taxpayers are also required to update his business profile through filing of form prescribed under Section 181 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, which is a time consuming work/burden on the part of the taxpayers and especially on the part of the tax consultants,” the PTBA said, adding that due to the profile update, workload of every consultant is almost double; hence, sufficient time is required for preparation/filing of the income tax returns.

As aware that the last date to update of the business account is also coinciding with the last date of filing of tax returns and no extension under the law is provided.

The tax bar urged the revenue board not to enforce the implementation till December 31, 2021 to provide maximum time to the taxpayers and tax consultants who were already heavily occupied in filing tax returns.

The PTBA said the situation of the Covid-19 is again improving from the last month as fourth wave, while even following the SOPs.

In this situation, the business community, in general, and tax consultants, in particular, are facing hardship/stress, while performing their daily routine work/duties.

“Moreover, from the last month onwards, we are facing smart lockdowns in many areas of the country, even better to say that no normal life is going on than how the FBR expects the taxpayers to file their declarations/returns of income tax within time.”

The apex tax bar also said after a hacking attack on the FBR website, the entire system collapsed and all websites, including Customs operations were not performing properly for a minimum 15 days. No doubt, the FBR authorities have done a great job in restoring the system within the couple of days but unfortunately nobody could perform their routine work for a minimum of 15 days. “Thus, it is one of the important reasons that the deadline for filing returns is liable to be extended for smooth/hassle-free filing of returns of income.”

In the light of the facts and legal exposition, the PTBA demanded the FBR to allow 90 days’ time till December 31, 2021, for filing the income tax returns and update the bank accounts by the taxpayers.

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