Daily The Business

Only 50,000 registered companies filing tax returns: FBR chairman

  • ‘Industrialists can clear their past sales tax liabilities by paying just 2pc’ 

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi said that there were over 100,000 companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), but only 50,000 were filing their returns.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Shabbar Zaidi said he had informed the SECP chairman of this, adding that the law states companies had to pay their taxes irrespective of not having an income and being non-operational.

“I have spoken the SECP chairman, either he will remove the company or I will remove it,” Zaidi said.

Amnesty for Industry

The FBR chief, while announcing amnesty for the industrial sector, urged the industrialists and manufacturers to take advantage of the Asset Declaration Scheme and clear their past sales tax liabilities by paying just two per cent in taxes till June 30, 2019.

“A special clause has been included in the Asset Declaration Scheme, which was not included in it earlier,” the FBR chairman stated while addressing a press conference. “If anybody is having a sales tax liability, he or she may clear that by paying just two per cent in taxes.”

He said that currently there were around 341,174 industrial electricity connections and 7,000 industrial gas connections. In comparison, he added, the sales tax registration of industry was just 38,937.

Zaidi said that there were possibilities that these industrial connections may include some connections that come under the cotton industry as per law. Anyhow, he added, there was a dire need to check this huge difference.

“It would be our desire that under the special clause placed in Asset Declaration Scheme, the industries falling in the category pay two per cent to clear past liabilities,” the chairman said. “It is my request to all industrial consumers to take advantage of the scheme before June 30th as it may not remain in the same shape after July 1st,” he maintained.

The FBR chairman urged the media to sensitise people on the issue so that those avoiding to clear their past sales tax liabilities might realise this gap and get registered with FBR by taking advantage of the scheme.

He said that the FBR would try its best to make the filing process voluntary and do not indulge in harassment, as the boards “wants to create a friendly environment for the businesses”.

To a question, the FBR chairman said that there were around 3.1 million commercial consumers, adding that the strategy on how to get the unregistered consumers to get registered with FBR would be shared with media.

It is pertinent to mention that the government had last week announced the Asset Declaration Scheme, providing one more opportunity to all Pakistani citizens to declare and legalize undisclosed assets inside and outside the country by paying just four per cent taxes on all assets other than real estate.

The scheme would be applicable till June 30th and all Pakistan citizens, other than those holding public offices or their dependents, would be able to take benefit from it.

The basic purpose of the scheme was to document the economy and make the dead assets functional so as to stabilise the country’s economy.

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