LAHORE: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Mahmood Pasha said that the tax amnesty scheme is the last chance to legalise undeclared assets, and it must therefore, be availed by the business community.
While speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Pasha said the scheme would increase revenue, enhance foreign exchange reserves, reduce the current account deficit, improve balance of payments, bring foreign capital to Pakistan and enhance economic activities.
Talking about the issue of refunds, he said this year sales tax refunds of Rs102 billion have been disbursed compared with Rs54 billion last year.
“Due to lack of resources, collective payment of income tax and sales tax refunds is not possible, but there improvement.”
About the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism, Pasha said that the list will be prepared by the FBR, while representatives will be chosen by the business community and all stakeholders will be bound to accept the decision.
Only one audit will be held in three years, as the exercise was causing difficulties for the business community, he said, adding this will help get rid of the misuse of discretionary powers by the tax machinery.
The chairman said that regulatory duty has been reduced or abolished on various items in the recent budget and the import of those items should be discouraged that are being produced locally.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that the chamber welcomes the amnesty, which allows legalising undeclared assets by paying income tax from 2% to 5%. The government should extend its deadline by at least one month.
He said that the policy of imposing regulatory duties, even on the items which are not produced locally, has made local production unviable. There should be no regulatory duty on raw materials, which are unavailable in Pakistan.
The LCCI president said that there are different rates of sales tax for traders, manufacturers and commercial importers etc, which creates ambiguities. “We propose that there should be uniform percentage of sales tax for all.”
He said that there is a dire need of harmony among the provincial and federal tax collecting agencies.