FBR must expedite payment of refunds: ICCI

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad

President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry Muhammad Ahmed Waheed has called upon the FBR authorities to expedite the payment of refunds in compliance with the commitment of the Prime Minister of Pakistan as undue delay in the payment of outstanding income tax, sales tax and customs duty refunds was creating liquidity issues for the business community and affecting the promotion of business activities.
In a statement here on Tuesday, he said that income tax refunds of business community were pending with FBR since 2014-15 and despite the commitment of the government and SBP to clear them, their payment was being delayed, which was unjustified.
Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken a very positive step by announcing a relief package to address the issue of refunds, but still a large accumulated amount of refunds was stuck up with FBR which was a major issue for the business community. He said that field officers of FBR have done assessment of many refund cases, processed them and issued their RPOs (refund payment orders), but still taxpayers have not received them, which was unfortunate.
He said that trade and industrial activities were adversely affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic due to which business community was facing great financial problems and it was the right time for FBR to clear all outstanding refunds for addressing the liquidity issues of business community. However, undue delay in payment of outstanding refunds was increasing the financial woes of the business community that would further affect businesses and trigger more unemployment.
ICCI President said that Regional Chief Commissioners of FBR have processed many cases of income tax refunds after due assessment and have submitted them to FBR Headquarter, but the taxpayers were still waiting for their receipt in their bank accounts. He urged that Chairman FBR should take personal interest in this serious matter and pass on orders for immediate clearance of all refunds including income tax, sales tax and customs duty refunds that would address the financial problems of business community and help them in reviving business activities leading to enhanced tax revenue for the government.
Muhammad Ahmed Waheed further said in case clearance of all accumulated refunds was not possible for FBR due to any reason, it should consider ICCI proposal for allowing adjustment of payable taxes against outstanding refunds.

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