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Tuesday Mar 27 2018
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Government to not introduce new taxes in upcoming budget

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Finance Haroon Akhtar Khan on Monday, March 26, 2018 said the government is considering to increase burden by enhancing withholding tax rates for non-filers in upcoming budget 2018/2019. Photo: Geo News file
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KARACHI: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Finance Haroon Akhtar Khan on Monday said the government is considering to increase burden through enhancing withholding tax rates for non-filers in upcoming budget 2018/2019.

Addressing a pre-budget seminar organised by the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Pakistan (ICAP), he said that with the increase in withholding tax rates non-filers would opt for compliance.

He said that introduction of valuation for immovable properties was a major initiative of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The initiative forced this sector to get registered with the tax authorities, he added.

Akhtar said that the government will not introduce any new tax in the upcoming budget but the revenue will be generated through administrative measures, he added.

He vowed that the government will not tolerate people living a luxurious life but who remained outside the tax net. He said that data had been gathered from third-party sources and FBR was working on it.

He said the country was facing a difficult economic situation due to the widening of the current account deficit. However, there are many other economic indicators which are portraying improvement in the economy, he said.

The official hoped the GDP growth will be around 6 percent for the upcoming fiscal year. This major breakthrough has been realised through reducing energy shortfall, he said.

Akhtar said that a lower discount rate brought positive results in the economy. “One can see the improvement in exports,” he said and added that the exports were also improved on the back of implementation of a package for exporters announced by the prime minister.

He praised the revenue collection efforts as it was doubled during the past five years.

On the occasion, ICAP budget committee chairman Ashfaq Tola said that the institute was not in favour of any amnesty scheme. He said that the government should take measures for anti-money laundering and flight of untaxed money abroad.

However, he said the government should consider giving one-time amnesty to people for bringing back their undocumented foreign assets back to the homeland.

Tola said that the laws have been tightened around the globe and it is difficult to park undocumented money in any country.