Tax authorities fail to get desired results

Staff Reporter BOL News

07th Oct, 2021. 02:17 pm

KARACHI: Pakistan’s progress on improving tax collection over the last few years has not been a very successful journey, despite several measures taken by the government and tax authorities, an official said on Thursday.

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Muhammad Idrees said the government and tax authorities have imposed various taxation requirements that have caused great stress to the business and industrial community of the country.

In some cases, the government is not even consulting all the relevant stakeholders, he said, adding that the most recent bombardment of guidelines came through the Tax Laws (Third Amendments) Ordinance 2021, which aims at penalising non-filers and under-filers through suspension of services, including utility connections.

Idrees said that one of the requirements in the ordinance is for Tier 1 retailers to integrate with the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) POS system.

The KCCI recently held a meeting with the government officials, in which the chamber submitted its suggestions to the government pertaining to the ordinance.

If the tax policies are made after proper discussion with the stakeholders, only then can the business and industrial community flourish and the economy be put on a path of success.

The tax authorities need to realise that the traders should be given time to understand the ins and outs of the system before being penalised, he said, adding that these large retailers may also employ staff that, despite training, might initially struggle with the system.

So far, according to the FBR’s website, only 1,435 retailers have integrated with the system.

Although there are no two opinions that transparency in the economy along with the elimination of tax evasion are necessary for the development of the country, putting such deadly pressure on businesses at a time when they are battling several challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, high inflation and subdued business activity in the economy is not the way forward, he added.

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