By M J Hayat
LAHORE: The FPCCI Standing Committee on Inland Revenue Chairman Kashif Anwar has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the Amnesty Scheme date till August 31, enabling more people to benefit from the scheme before the implementation of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) digital data exchange between world’s countries.
He was speaking at a LCCI meeting held between the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials and the businessmen here the other day. He said that from the very execution of digital data exchange, people would not be able to hide their incomes from the revenue departments.
“There are people who took their wealth out of the country through hundi or some other means decades ago and now they want to declare their assets but because of the strict tax laws in foreign countries, they are afraid of doing it,” he said, adding that such people can opt for amnesty.
Moreover, information on OECD is coming and they will be sharing their data. Most of the people have this question that what would happen if they do not declare their assets abroad.
He urged the FBR that if one month is extended, and they have information on how to declare their assets for the sake of the country and asked it to also publisize the information, warning those people who have not declared their assets as yet. The benefit of this step would be that those people would also declare their assets, it will help in generating more revenue for the govt.
He also added that anyone who will not file his tax return after March 1, 2019, he will be considered a non-filer for the rest of the year, depriving the liberty of filing the tax return whenever people pleased.
The commissioner can open the audit of sales tax and income tax up to one year under many sections. Audits are opened in sales tax as well as income tax which become a great trouble. Audits are attached with refunds. We make it pre-audit and post-audit if someone claims refund.
He also said the criteria of balloting of income tax, has yet not been evolved by FBR. According to the rules of sales tax introduced by FBR, if sales or purchases are made, it comes in the ambit of audit. The department and FBR also know that there are no registered persons.
He also mentioned that under section 21, the payment of up to Rs15,000 is to be done through cheques whereas according to section 73 of sales tax the invoice of Rs 49,9,99 can be done in cash.
He said that every NTN holder is eligible for audit whereas people are afraid of getting into taxnet because they will get in audit if they get in taxnet.
Audit should be done of those who don’t file return and not of those who are filers. Similarly, people are afraid of amnesty because they will be showing their assets and hence come in audit. They will be demanded after one year or two to come and get their audit done. Documentation and withholding is very important but the withholding rates should be decreased for the filers. We all want the tax base be widened, he concluded.