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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