New Sales Tax initiatives to check huge tax evasion

Islamabad—The newly introduced sales tax automation system would help generate additional billions of rupees for the national exchequer besides ensuring transparency, discipline and proper monitoring of sales and purchase all across the country. “The Sales Tax Real-time Invoice Verification Strive System’ has been put in place to check leakages in the tax system and improve over-all revenue collections,” Member Sales Tax, Dr. M. Irshad said while talking to APP here.
He said that the purpose of the system was to check under-invoicing as well as flying-invoicing which has been causing damages of billions of rupees to the government in terms of tax evasion. He said that although the system has been put in place since the commencement of the current fiscal year, however the actual impact could be evaluated after August 18, when the FBR receives returns from the sales taxpayers. “We expect that with the help of this system, additional Rs40 to Rs 50 billion per annum revenue could be collected by checking and removing the loopholes and leakages,” he added.
As per the system all the companies and individuals involved in selling of goods would be bound to submit electronically their invoices of previous month to the FBR by 10th of next month and later file their returns by 18th of that month. This practice would help FBR to recheck and re-examine the tax collection when the invoices and actual files are submitted, hence it would not only help check the bottlenecks in the tax collection system but would also make the overall system transparent.
He said that since the system was in place since July 1, 2016, so the sales taxpayers are bound to submit their invoices (annexes) by 10th of August and file their returns by August 18. The board would then make cross-check to ensure that no under-voicing and flying invoicing has been included for the purpose of tax evasion, he told APP. He was of the view that FBR had been facing such problems for a long time and it was after long consideration that this software has been developed to overcome the problems.
He said that before launching the software, the FBR had launched a pilot project and approached businessmen and chambers to inform them and create awareness among them regarding the system. The member ST FBR said that similar systems have been developed to check sales tax evasion by vendors and electricity distribution companies (Discos) all across the country. In future, two more software are being developed to introduce same facility in the real-estate business and motor registration system. He said that the FBR has taken many incentives to revamp the existing sales tax system to facilitate taxpayers and also improve revenue collection system by making it taxpayer-friendly, transparent and disciplined.—APP

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