SRB making all-out efforts to resolve taxpayers’ issues: chairman

Staff Reporter BOL News

15th Oct, 2021. 07:57 pm

KARACHI: The provincial revenue authority is making all-out efforts to resolve taxpayers’ issues on a priority basis, an official said on Friday.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) chairman Khalid Mehmood said the board has been making cautious efforts to ensure that the business community could avoid receiving notices from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and also from the provincial revenue board; however, in case they receive notices from both the tax collecting authorities, SRB will try its best to resolve the issues as per the aspirations of the taxpayers.
Mehmood said that the issuance of double notices and other issues are taken up regularly with the FBR and usually resolved through deliberations.
“Some progress has taken place, in this regard, while some issues are still pending and we are hoping that these will also be settled soon,” he added.
Mehmood said that sincere efforts were made to resolve the indenters’ issue whose tax was reduced from 13 per cent to 3 per cent, yet many indenters were still reluctant to pay tax and have opted for litigations.
“If they (indenters) have any other feasible option, it can be shared with [the] SRB and we will take it into consideration,” he assured.
The Point of Sale measure was being taken to capture sales of restaurants, beauty parlours and other outlets where a large number of cash transactions were taking place.
“In this regard, we will be requiring your cooperation, as it will be a substantive move,” he said, adding: “Instead of being a typically strict tax collecting authority, we try our best to make SRB a taxpayer-friendly institution and we have succeeded in attaining this objective to a certain extent. Even in matters in which there were differences between the SRB and the business community, we usually acted leniently in terms of enforcement and the board has been overall enjoying good relations with the business community of Karachi.”
“Any unwarranted notice received by the members of the business community can be brought to [the] SRB high-ups who were always available to listen to and amicably resolve the issues,” he added.
Motiwala congratulated the SRB chairman on achieving record tax collection of Rs128 billion and said that there was a huge potential for further growth, as the Sindh Revenue Board has created an enabling and cordial environment in which the taxpayers were being facilitated as much as possible, which was a very nice approach.
He stressed that of the total revenue of Rs128 billion, Karachi must be contributing somewhere around Rs110 billion and of this huge contribution, the Sindh government should look into the possibility of spending half of the amount on the development of Karachi.
He also said the Workers Welfare Fund (WWF), which was either being submitted to the SRB or the FBR, was a serious issue that stands unresolved to-date.
Many taxpayers, who submit it to the FBR, adjust WWF in the income tax returns but those taxpayers, who submit it to the SRB, cannot carry out adjustments in the tax returns; hence, the SRB and FBR will have to sit together to deal with this issue, as it is confusing for the business community, he added.
The sales tax on exports was not being charged anywhere around the world; hence, it should not be charged here, as well, because all the services, including shipping lines and terminals operators, etc, were being availed for exports, he said.
“[The] SRB must also rationalise its tax rates in consultation with [the] KCCI, as there is plenty of space available in numerous sectors where the tax rate can either be reduced or enhanced,” he said.
BMG vice chairman Haroon Farooki said that the business community faces a lot of problems and remains confused on various occasions when parallel taxes were being demanded by the FBR and SRB, as well and both claim that these taxes fall under their domain.
“This clash between the two tax authorities puts legitimate taxpayers in an uncomfortable position who sometimes even have to go to courts to settle the issues.”
“It is high time that [the] FBR and SRB must sit together to decide their domains in order to set the loyal taxpayers free from all the troubles,” he added.
The taxation issues of indenters, security agencies and travels agents, etc, have still not been addressed at the SRB level, which requires attention.
BMG vice chairman Jawed Bilwani stressed that although Karachi contributes 95 per cent of the revenue to the SRB, the sector-wise and city-wise breakup was unavailable.
“[The] SRB should look into the possibility of publicising this important info [information] so that we could examine the statistics and give inputs on where the tax rate needs to be enhanced and where it has to be reduced.”
KCCI president Muhammad Idrees welcomed the SRB chairman and said that since Mehmood assumed the charge, the SRB’s revenue has been constantly increasing every year and it was heartening to see that most of the revenue was being contributed by the business and industrial community of Karachi.
“We have no problem in contributing so much and we can contribute even more but the funds being generated from Karachi must be utilised on the infrastructure of this city, which was in a bad shape.”
He appreciated the support and cooperation being extended by the Sindh Revenue Board chairman who has promptly resolved numerous issues highlighted by the Karachi Chamber.