KCCI seeks end to WHT for commercial importers

Staff Reporter

The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to abolish withholding tax (WHT) and minimum tax for commercial importers in the upcoming budget 2021-22.

The KCCI in its proposals for the upcoming budget said that commercial importers of raw material pay withholding tax at 2 percent up to 5.5 percent which can only be possible if the gross profit is 30 percent, while the margin is not more than 2 to 3 percent on raw materials sold without value addition or change in form.

By amendment to Section 148 of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 through Finance Bill 2018-19, WHT paid on import of raw materials by commercial importers has been converted to minimum tax and the importers have been taken out of fixed tax regime (FTR).

The chamber said that the concept of WHT is unique to Pakistan’s Tax regime which in fact is tantamount to putting the burden of tax-collection from undocumented entities on the compliant tax payers and avoiding the responsibility to broaden tax-base.

After acquiring unprecedented powers to access information under Section 56 A and 56 B in Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, FBR and its subordinate departments must take the responsibility to identify non-compliant and undocumented entities/persons instead of laying the onus on existing taxpayers.

The chamber proposed that the concept of minimum tax and withholding tax may be abolished.

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