Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to revise its policy for mandatory update of taxpayers’ profiles as it has created additional difficulties the business community and was discouraging the potential taxpayers from coming into the tax net.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that about 2.3 million tax returns were filed in Pakistan, and one of the main reasons for the filing of low returns was the FBR’s tough laws for the taxpayers due to which many eligible taxpayers were preferring to stay away from coming into the tax net. He stressed that instead of simplifying the difficult tax laws, the Income Tax Ordinance was amended through Finance Act 2020 to make it mandatory for taxpayers to submit their profiles along with income tax returns, even though all personal data of taxpayers was provided in tax returns. Those who do not submit their profiles may be removed from the active taxpayers’ list, as well as face fines and other penalties, which will increase their difficulties, he said. He appealed to the Federal Minister for Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Chairman FBR Muhammad Javed Ghani to take personal interest in the matter and revise the decision regarding mandatory filing of profiles of taxpayers to ease their problems.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan further said that anti-money laundering laws have also been imposed on the buyers and sellers of property, which will not only create more difficulties to the business community, it will also reduce the attractiveness of PM’s construction package and cause slowdown in construction activities.
The ICCI President said that there were about 8 million commercial meters of electricity across Pakistan while more than 3 million industrial units were operating but only 2.3 million total tax returns were filed which should be a cause of concerns for the policymakers. He said that the government has the record of all commercial meters, which could be regularized but it seemed that the FBR was bent upon milking the existing taxpayers instead of bringing new ones in the tax net, which was not a wise approach. He appealed to the government to focus on simplifying the tax laws to make them business friendly so that the people feel encouraged to come into the tax net that would improve the tax collection and help in strengthening the country’s economy.