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Saturday Feb 13 2021

FBR claims tax reforms introduced in country starting to pay dividends

  • FBR claims it exceeded its seven-month revenue target for ongoing FY 2020-21 because of reforms
  • FBR says it has collected data from different utility agencies and other departments to have a 360-degree view of taxpayers
  • They say they've made it easier to file income tax returns 

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) claimed on Friday that the tax reforms introduced by the country’s tax authority have started paying dividends.

The FBR said it had introduced multiple tax reforms in line with the vision of the Prime Minister.

The country’s premier tax collection agency said that it has gathered data from different utility agencies and other departments to have a 360-degree view of taxpayers.

FBR said its reforms focused on facilitating taxpayers, reducing human interaction, simplification of tax statutes and tax filing procedures through automation, integrity management, enforcement of tax code and policy measures to boost revenue and promote exports through an increase in business activity, speedy payment of refunds and drawbacks and better service delivery.

Read more: FBR limits whistleblowing cash reward at Rs5m

FBR claimed it exceeded its seven-month revenue target for the ongoing FY 2020-21 by collecting Rs2,570 billion against the target of Rs2,550 billion because of the reforms.

The body said that it was able to collect the amount even though it has issued 80% more refunds in comparison with the same period of the last FY.

The move has helped the business community in reducing the cost of doing business and providing working capital for investment.

To boost the tax collection the FBR has also made it an easier income tax returns form for individuals and small & medium enterprises. It has also enabled auto-calculation and phase 1 of pre-filling of some information for individual taxpayers.

Read more: FBR surpasses seven-month tax target by Rs17b

On the other hand, FBR has introduced an e-Appeals module to file appeals through the system. Automation of Sales Tax refunds via FASTER has been further improved. Similarly, the processing and payment of export duty drawbacks have also been automated.

To broaden the tax base, data from the financial services sector, telcos, utility companies, provincial revenue authorities, local development authorities, provincial excise & taxation authorities, local housing authorities, Securities & Exchange Commission, NADRA, and Federal Investigation Agency is being received and integrated to provide a full 360-degree view of all taxpayers.

The country’s tax collection authority has introduced a dedicated portal (Maloomat TaxRay) for taxpayers to see what information the FBR holds about them.

Read more: Businessmen advised to utilise FBR’s offer to settle legal cases outside of court

Moreover, the systems used for Prosecution, Appellate, and Alternate Dispute Resolution systems have been strengthened, revitalized, and automated. Additionally, on the Customs side, the anti-smuggling and confiscation of goods portal have been enabled for data collection and analysis.

Another positive development has been seen in the number of duty drawback claims processed via Automated Export Duty Drawback payment system. Since its official launch at end-December (as of 15 January 2021), 74pc of all claims (55,790 out of 75,345) have been automated whilst 71pc of amount has been remitted.