A transparent FBR

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THE Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) remains in the limelight for understandable reasons as it is assigned with the daunting task of collecting revenues to meet growing developmental and other needs of the country.

It is a matter of pride that despite numerous odds, the FBR is working hard to meet its targets, which is also reflected by the latest figures as it crossed Rs4.143 trillion in 11 months of the current fiscal year against Rs3.536tr collected over the corresponding months of last year indicating a revival of economic activities in the country.

There are two important aspects to the great achievement of the FBR – it succeeded in enhancing revenue collection meaningfully despite recession caused by the Covid-19 and without harassing the tax-payers, as was complained repeatedly in the past.

It is all the more encouraging that the Board is planning to introduce much-needed reforms to minimize personal contact of the tax-payer with the tax-machinery.

In this regard, the Finance and Revenue Minister Shaukat Tarin assured businessmen on Thursday that no notices will be issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) from July 1 as the taxpayers will be able to carry out self-assessment whereas only 4 to 5 per cent of the cases will be sent for audit which will not be done by FBR but by the third party.

Most of the tax collection system and tax returns are already automated and introduction of the new system from the new financial year would take the process of transparency to the next level.

We hope that this will take care of grievances of honest tax payers as they will have ease of mind to focus on their businesses.

The new system would also expose tax thieves and defaulters as they will have no excuse of harassment by the FBR and instead the audit would be done by a third party.

We hope that the integrity of this ‘third party’ would be above board, otherwise there could be yet another avenue for ‘minting of money’.

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