Govt Prepares Comprehensive Strategy To Bring More Retailers Into Tax Net

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

16th Jun, 2021. 11:52 am
Govt Prepares Comprehensive Strategy To Bring More Retailers Into Tax Net

The federal government has prepared a comprehensive strategy to bring more retailers into the tax net from July 1.

The proposal was discussed at a meeting of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chaired by Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Revenue and Finance Dr Waqar Masood Khan and FBR Chairman Asim Ahmed briefed the Finance Minister on various issues.

SAPM Dr Waqar Khan said that a group of experts would be involved in expanding the tax net.

He said the FBR would seek data from the National Data Registration Authority to bring potential taxpayers into the tax net.

He said the new system would start from July 1.

A spokesman for the FBR said ways to better manage and monitor the expansion of the tax base were being discussed.

“Nothing has been finalized yet,” the spokesman said.

The agenda of the meeting was to formulate a strategy to increase the integration of retailers with the FBR’s Point of Sales (POS) system.

The meeting also discussed various measures to bring taxpayers into the tax net.

Briefing the meeting, FBR Chairman Asim Ahmed said that the licensing of IT companies for the installation and configuration of the POS system would be completed by the end of August.

He said that monitoring cells would be set up in each RTO headed by the concerned Chief Commissioner to monitor the POS integration to achieve the desired results.

Shaukat Tarin directed the concerned authorities to ensure effective tracking of the installed POS machines and provide assistance to the retailers after identification.

He further said that a cell should be set up at FOR headquarters so that progress on POS integration could be tracked faster.

The FBR team said in a briefing that a large number of potential taxpayers have been identified after obtaining the available data on these withholding taxes in collaboration with third parties.



Earlier on Tuesday, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) rejected the proposed powers for the tax officials to make arrests on concealment of income, a statement said.

The FPCCI President Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo slammed the amendment to Section 203A of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, proposed through the Finance Bill, 2021, which gives powers to arrest and prosecute any person for concealment of income to the assistant commissioners of the Inland Revenue Service – merely on the basis of an accusation or doubt.

Maggo said that the income tax is a civil liability and could not be treated as criminal liability, and this had always remained a civil matter historically. Section 203A opens doors to harassment of business, industry, and trade communities.

Section 203A will add to the already existing harassment of businessmen by the tax officials through the issuance of several thousand notices.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has taken notice and his timely intervention has resulted in the withdrawal of a large number of notices issued to the businessmen, he said.

The FPCCI chief said the businessmen must be respected for generating taxes and employment for the country. The businesses should be conducted in harmony; instead of conflicts and contradictions created by the tax officials – resulting from the strengthening of their discretionary powers.

Maggo said that Section 192A (Prosecution for Concealment of Income) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, already covers the subject sufficiently. There is no need for Section 203A and the FPCCI demands it should be omitted and taken off the table in the final budget documents.

The FPCCI is looking forward to resolving this issue by the withdrawal of Section 203A on an immediate basis, he added.


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