Daily The Business

Existing, regular taxpayer were never given incentives, honored: Habibur Rehman Zubari

Amnesty scheme introduced for tax evaders: Habibur Rehman Zubari

M J Hayat

LAHORE: The Amnesty scheme has been introduced for the tax evaders
while regular tax payers have been selected in the audit balloting and
squeezed every year and the authorities have never incentivized the
regular tax payers which are an injustice. In order to increase the tax
net the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officers and officials should
be sent in the market places to register new taxpayers.

Qari Habibur Rehman, Lahore Tax bar Association former president and
tax expert stated this while talking to Daily The Business the other
day.

He said that [sociallocker id=”9504″]the Registration of Sales Tax should be made easier while
existing registered tax payers who are paying their taxes must be
appreciated and not harassed so that they feel honored in paying their
tax liabilities instead of evading them.

“Sales Tax exemptions should be withdrawn, percentage of ST should be
reduced as the rate of tax is much higher in our country than that of
the other countries in the region,” he said.

In ST section 8-B adjustable in good tax should be easy for the
manufacturers and section 8-A joint, and several liabilities of
registered persons and section 8(1) (c) (a)should be enforceable so
that the fear that tax evaders may run could be minimized, he
explained.

While giving his insight in to the Income Tax related issues, Zubari,
said that Income tax percentage should also be reduced in the upcoming
budget enabling the taxpayers to find taxpaying an easy option than
that of the tax evaders, he highlighted, adding that income tax
percentage in our country is comparatively higher that of the other
countries in the region.

“Right now in our country Public Limited Companies are paying 33
percent of the Income as income tax while in our neighboring countries
these companies are paying 5 to 25 percent of their total income as
income tax,” the expert suggested.

Further he stated that retailers income tax rules should be introduced
in which minimum tax percentage should be 0.5 percent and it should be
made compulsory for all the retailers to pay the tax.

He said that that percentage of customs duty should be brought down
and individuals who are paying sales tax must be appreciated instead
of harassment. Income Tax (IT) rate should also be brought down so
that the taxpayers should consider taxpaying an easy option than that
of the tax evasion.

Zubari added that law-making in Customs Department should be equal for
every individual, percentage of customs duties should be reduced, and
authorities should make a mechanism that could come in handy in doing
away with the under-invoicing from the country.

It is injustice and will not enable the tax authorities to exploit the
full potential of the tax collection, he said adding that, the same
taxpayers are also filing returns.

Zubari added that such tactics on the part of the government would
further aggravate the situation and there are reasonable chances that
these taxpayers take to the road sand streets to protest against the
tax authorities.

He said that the tax authorities must have to alter their policy and
ensure broadening of tax net by bringing in the net more and
non-taxpayers.

“It is thought provoking that no proper tax survey has been conducted
by the government since 1999 which has added to the troubles for the
tax collecting authorities to meet the annual target,” the former LTBA
president highlighted.

He suggested that the tax authorities should come out of their offices
and reach to the market places to have an exact picture of the tax
payers.

When the authorizes would question and assess the real taxpayers and
bring them into the tax net after proper survey the FBR will be able
to collect as much tax as they are required without provoking the
existent tax payers, Zubari added. He also urged the Chairman to make
arrangements for tax survey enabling the government to assess the
exact number of the taxpayers.

No other way is as effective as that of the tax survey and the
authorities must have to seriously ponder over it to make a
difference, he concluded.[/sociallocker]

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