ICCI asks FBR to defer tax collection from businesses during Covid-19
Islamabad : Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) lauded the decision of FBR for extending the deadline to furnish the taxpayer profile up to 30th June 2021 as it would reduce pressures on taxpayers by giving them more time for preparation of their profiles. However, he urged that FBR should simplify the taxpayer profile as it required extensive information including mandatory submission of bank account detail, business premises detail and utility connections detail that would be a very cumbersome exercise for the taxpayers and would consume a lot of their time in its completion. He said this while presiding over a meeting of business community at ICCI.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that the business community has been demanding of the FBR since long for developing a simplified and easy taxation system to enhance tax compliance as the current complicated tax system was a major hurdle for many potential taxpayers to come into the tax net. However, instead of focusing on simplifying the tax regime, FBR has developed a tax profiling system, which has made the tax payment obligation more difficult for taxpayers. He said that many members of the business community were already finding it very difficult to complete the filing of online income tax returns and were demanding for the development of a one pager tax return form in Urdu to facilitate them. He said that instead of making things easy for taxpayers, FBR has come up with the requirement of taxpayer profile that would make their job more difficult to complete. He stressed that FBR should revise its decision and focus on a simple and short version of taxpayer profile for promoting ease of doing business.
ICCI President said that due to the 3rd wave of Covid-19, the government has banned the operation of many businesses including weddings halls, marquees, indoor dining in restaurants, besides reducing business days for retail and timings that have caused great losses for the business community. Therefore, he urged that FBR should defer the collection of taxes from the business class during the 3rd wave of coronavirus or allow them to pay income and other taxes of current financial year in easy instalments that would provide them some relief in these turbulent business conditions.
Fatma Azim Senior Vice President and Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI said that the GST rate was quite high in Pakistan and was an important source of high cost of doing business and high inflation. Therefore, they emphasized that the government should bring down the GST rate to a single digit level in the upcoming budget that would reduce production cost and inflation and facilitate the growth of business and industrial activities.