— The authority always strived hard to provide maximum facilities to taxpayers: PRA Chairman Javed Ahmed
By M Jahangir Hayat
LAHORE: The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) is all set to achieve the revenue target of Rs 160 billion for the financial year 2019-20 with full energy, honesty of purpose and dedication. The PRA has also met its target for the financial year 2018-19 however, Rs 4 billion were wrongly transferred to some other accounts which would be adjusted.
The authority has always strived to provide maximum facilitation to the taxpayers and the tax bar and has an open door policy for all taxpayers and members of the bar as well as general public. The PRA is the only Provincial Revenue Authority to have fully implemented Sales Tax Real-time Invoice Monitoring (STRIVe) system with complete integration with FBR. Even FBR itself has not yet implemented STRIVe with complete data integration.
It is also planning to expand its footprint by opening new offices in the province in order to facilitate taxpayers who need to visit other cities for their cases.
These views were expressed by PRA Chairman Javed Ahmed in an exclusive interview with Daily The Business at his office. Javed Ahmed is known as the most competent, honest officer of the Inland Revenue
Service. He has been so hard working and is so diligent officer that after the PRA out-going chairman, he was given new assignment by the Punjab CM Usman Buzdar, as the authorities have to post Javed Ahmed as the Chairman of the Authority due to his utmost dedication and diligence.
He said that PRA is planning to launch Customer Relationship Management System within this financial year and the system will allow filing, tracking and response of complaints and queries in an automated environment.
The PRA is also planning to expand its footprint by opening new offices in the province in order to facilitate taxpayers who need to visit other cities for their cases, the PRA chairman said, adding that the Authority has always strived to provide maximum facilitation to the taxpayers and the tax bar and has an open door policy for all taxpayers and members of the bar as well as general public. In reply to a question he replied that the PRA was the pioneer in a number of innovative steps such as e-Courts, which is a landmark achievement in taxpayer facilitation.
This innovation has recently been adopted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he claimed, saying the authority has planned to adopt Case Tracking System (CTS) for cases in appeals.
“Once fully implemented, it will provide the facility to track the progress of cases in appellate forums, including next date of hearing,status, appellate order etc,” the PRA chief believed.
To a query about Sales Tax on Services, the PRA chairman responded that through the Punjab Finance Act, 2019, Punjab Sales Tax on Services has been imposed on doctors’ fees exceeding Rs1,500 per consultation, visit, bed, room charges of hospitals exceeding Rs.6,000 per day per bed and room.
Similarly, he added that dress designing and stiching services, rental of bulldozers, excavators, cranes etc, services in respect of treatment of textile, leather, apartment and house management.
He also clarified the misunderstanding, “There has been no change in the rate of tax on restaurants. Certain social media posts have created some confusion regarding this issue which will be made cleared.
The Authority expects the Tax Bars, Chambers and other related organisations to play their pivotal role in creating awareness about the importance of paying taxes by acting as a bridge between the taxpayers and tax collectors.
“We expect the tax bars, chambers will join hands with the PRA, especially on the occasion of Tax Day celebrated every year on April 10 and through such awareness-creating measures PRA’s efforts to ensure 100 percent implementation of tax laws can come true.
He was of the view that by assisting each other in the expansion of tax base, creating awareness and further enhancing facilitation measures, we can prove that we are not adversaries but partners in progress.
“We must focus on creating synergies leading to positive outcomes where the whole is more than the sum of its parts,” he suggested.
He said that the tax bars and chambers can play central role in facilitating the taxpayers in filing returns on STRIVe so that the practice of fake and flying invoices can be satisfactorily curbed.
Talking about the coordination with other revenue authorities, the chief informed that the PRA is working closely with FBR and the other four provinces in the development and implementation of a single portal single sales tax return. “The project is expected to be completed within this calendar year, and will greatly improve ease of doing business as the problems faced in filing multiple returns every month will be resolved,” Ahmad added further.
Going forward, he divulged that the authority is all set to launch the Electronic Invoice Monitoring System (e-IMS) next month. Similar to
RIMS, e-IMS will be installed at all sectors with POS and will provide real-time invoice data to PRA, he stated.
The e-IMS, combined with STRIVe, means that the raw data of Annexure C and Annexure A will be readily available with the PRA and that very soon. The PRA will launch self-executing return, wherein the basic data for these annexure will be automatically available to taxpayers, the Chairman concluded.