FAISALABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is pressing ahead with efforts to widen the tax base and bring at least 300,000 new people into the tax net, who will be issued notices in the next couple of weeks.
Additional Secretary, Member FBR Islamabad, Muhammad Raza Baqir said this while speaking at a gathering of businessmen associated with the textile industry at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Monday.
Baqir said the FBR had compiled data of six million people, who own vehicles and have frequently travelled abroad in the past few years in an effort to increase the number of taxpayers.
However, the FBR lacks the resources to bring all these people into the tax net, instead it will issue notices to only 300,000 potential taxpayers in the first phase. “A ‘Shame and Name’ scheme is being introduced to point the tax dodgers out,” Baqir announced.
Discussing SROs 98 and 154 that impose more taxes on the industrialists, he said most of the reservations of the sizing, weaving and processing industries had already been addressed and an amended SRO was expected in a couple of days.
He clarified that 2% withholding tax would only be imposed on conversion charges in textile and not on the total value of sizing, weaving and processing. He also assured the industrialists that exports would remain zero-rated and would not face any tax burden.
Referring to the delay in release of refund claims, estimated at Rs40 billion at present, Baqir said all modalities had been finalised to start an online refund system from June this year.
“All stakeholders will be taken into confidence on such crucial issues in the future,” Baqir said.
Rejecting the perception that corrupt tax officials always go unpunished, he pointed out that many Grade-21 officers had been dismissed for illegal practices.
Speaking on the occasion, FCCI President Mian Zahid Aslam blamed the government for issuing many SROs in its final days which were not only difficult, but impossible to implement. “SROs 98 and 154 have been issued without consultation with any of the stakeholders. Even the Public Accounts Committee has discouraged the SRO culture,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2013.
Like Business on Facebook to stay informed and join in the conversation.