Efforts are being made to bring down sales tax rate to single digit in the next few years and exempt annual income up to Rs350,000 from income tax, says Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Member Inland Revenue Shahid Hussein Asad.
Speaking at a pre-budget seminar organised by the Lahore Tax Bar Association at the Regional Tax Office (RTO) here on Saturday, Asad said the upcoming budget would be people-friendly and instead of putting extra burden on existing taxpayers new taxpayers would be brought in the tax net. He claimed that instead of levying new taxes, the rate of existing taxes would be reduced.
He underscored the need for issuing national tax number in 72 hours, but sales tax number required verification and would take time.
He told bar members that most of their budget proposals had been approved as many were also forwarded by ICAP, chambers and other business organisations. FBR was serious about bringing the sales tax rate down to single digit in the next few years, he added.
Asad pointed out that Pakistan was passing through a critical juncture as out of expected total tax collection of Rs1,952 billion this year, Rs900 billion would be spent on debt servicing. This money “should have been spent on social welfare and support of common man.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2012.