Taxing dilemma: FBR asked to simplify online tax filing system

Lahore Tax Bar concerned about complication in PRAL.

Our Correspondent November 04, 2013
The FBR has been cautioned by many groups that this may deter tax payers, especially first time tax payers that intend to enter the tax net. CREATIVE COMMONS

LAHORE: Lahore Tax Bar Association (LTBA) has asked Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Tariq Bajwa, to remove complexities in the Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) system which is causing multiple problems for taxpayers.

The demand was raised at a meeting held by the LTBA, chaired by President LTBA, Qari Habibur Rehman Zuberi.

The LTBA president pointed out that the government will not be able to meet revenue targets unless the PRAL system was not made user friendly and any confusion caused by the form was not cleared immediately.

The house on the occasion adopted a resolution which called for immediate changes in the PRAL system to address problems caused to taxpayers, and expressed its dismay over the non-functioning of the system in the recent past.

The house demanded improvements in the Chief Revenue Office (CRO) in Islamabad to assist with the expansion in the tax net instead of creating unnecessary hurdles.

The house also insisted that the FBR grant permission for the submission of wealth statement as short documents while allowing submission of manual tax returns, since there are a large number of businessmen who are unable to access the online system which was recently introduced.

The LTBA president said that the association had already put forth a number of complaints to the authorities concerned but to no avail. He said that the FBR chairman should act immediately on the entire situation to remove any confusion the taxpayers are facing and ensure smooth filing of the tax returns.

The meeting was also attended by Secretary LTBA Ali Ahsan Rana, Zahid Pervaiz, Tufail Asghar, Khurram Shahbaz, Zulfiqar Ahmad and Anis Anjum.

The FBR’s online tax system has been critisiced as being too complicated for the average taxpayer. Although the FBR website provides a detailed manual, many users have reported walking into deadends because of complex terminology used in the form by the FBR. The FBR has been cautioned by many groups that this may deter taxpayers, especially first time taxpayers that intend to enter the tax net, resulting in Pakistan falling short on a crucial policy performance indicator.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2013.

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ashmad | 7 years ago | Reply

yup, revenue is accounted for even if payees is anonymous, In this case payees is the employer as an agent on behalf of employee. Filing of return will actually debit the liability in accounts

Hasan | 7 years ago | Reply Can someone tell me one thing - if a salaried person is getting tax deducted at source but does not file the tax return, does FBR include the tax paid in its revenue or not? Now to the article, the FBR must simplify filing returns for the salaried class, as they are the main tax payers who have no choice but to pay tax. The only issue is complex tax return system, due to which many do not file tax returns as it is not worth the effort.
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