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ICCI for automation of all tax refunds in FBR

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed has welcomed Mohammad Javed Ghani on taking over the charge as Chairman FBR and hoped that he would take measures to address the key tax issues of the business community on priority basis.

He said that the current government and SBP have made many commitments to streamline tax refunds of the business community, but the pace of work on this process was quite slow due to which the business community was facing liquidity issues.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic has created extraordinary problems for the business community, while the lockdown has put many businesses at risk of permanent closure. This situation demanded that FBR should ensure speedy payment of tax refunds to taxpayers to mitigate their liquidity issues so that they would be able to revive business activities.

Mohammad Ahmad Waheed urged that Chairman FBR should focus on automation of all refunds including customs duty, sales tax and income tax so that all refunds were automatically transferred to the bank accounts of the concerned taxpayers and they do not have to go to FBR for this purpose.

He further said that another better solution to the problem of refunds was to allow taxpayers to adjust their payable taxes against refunds. Such a mechanism would not only address the liquidity and refunds issues of taxpayers; it would also improve the tax revenue of the government.

The ICCI President said that under Section-8B of Sales Tax Act, taxpayers were currently allowed to claim input tax of only 90 per cent of the output tax while they have to deposit 0.10 percent of the sales tax amount in cash at the time of depositing sales tax returns. However, in these tough conditions paying cash of sales tax amount was very difficult for the business community as they have to incur expenditures on salaries of employees and on other expenses.

He stressed that FBR should abolish the cash payment of sales tax amount while filing sales tax returns to ease the problems of the business community, otherwise many businesses could face permanent closure.

He said that Islamabad Chamber of Commerce had repeatedly demanded from the government before the budget that taxpayers should be allowed input tax of the 100 percent of output tax but the government did not pay any attention to this issue in the budget.

He requested that the new Chairman FBR should pay special attention to this issue and allow the taxpayers to claim input tax of the 100% of the output tax that would reduce their financial problems.

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