FBR liaison with businessmen must to widen tax base

Staff Reporter

Chairman Businessmen Panel of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and ex-president FPCCI Mian Anjum Nisar has asked the government to enhance liaison with the business community, who are the real stakeholders, with a view to broaden tax base and enhancing tax-to-GDP ratio, as the number of active taxpayers has declined by 30% to just below 2.2 million.

In a statement here on Saturday, Mian Anjum Nisar said that the FBR’s reforms initiatives were not bearing fruit, as the revenue collecting agency could increase the number of sales tax return filers by just 8 percent in first six months of the current fiscal year, mainly due to 40 percent rise in the type of those filers, who haven’t paid any tax, implying that bad governance and weak tax management of the tax department still persist.

There is an urgent need of reforming and simplifying the taxation system with the consultation of real stakeholders, besides addressing the issue of double taxation through integration of provincial and federal government laws and harmonization of FBR and Punjab Revenue Authority, he added.

It is unfortunate that just 30 percent of the total sales tax return filers are paying taxes while 70 percent of the filers have paid nil tax.

The government’s new measures seem to be inadequate to convince people to file tax returns due to arm-twisting by the FBR, creating unnecessary controversy due to continuous raids on business premises.

He urged the authorities to introduce new tax incentives and extend the period of existing ones for attracting new foreign direct investments in line with the potential of the country.

With a view to wipe out corruption there needs to develop local software and Apps with simplified system in Urdu so that interaction of human resource should be reduced, suggested the BMP Chairman.