Monday, April 15, 2024

FBR is aiming to lower the cost of doing business

Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmad, Member of FBR Inland Revenue Operations, said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) prioritizes lowering the cost of doing business for the 2021-22 budget by getting rid of unnecessary taxes and reducing enforcement costs.

During his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Friday, speaking to businessmen, he said this move would set companies free so that they have minimal contact with tax authorities and concentrate on expanding business and industrial activities.

“FBR may be a 30-35% stakeholder in whatever is earned in shape of nuisance tax , tax or withholding , hence it’s within the authority’s best interest to offer businesses a favourable environment and slash their cost,” he said.

He added that the FBR receives thousands of budget proposals per annum but hardly gets time to travel through all of them.

He emphasized that the FBR would make all-out efforts to implement maximum number of practical recommendations.

Keeping this in sight , he requested the Karachi Chamber and every one other business chambers to right away present budget proposals to the technical committee formed by the minister of finance , get them refined and forward practical recommendations to the FBR.

According to figures released by the depository financial institution of Pakistan, the offtake of capital has declined thanks to improved performance of FASTER system in processing nuisance tax refund claims quickly.

“We are competing with the depository financial institution of Pakistan during a positive contest,” he said. “We dispatch refunds in order that businessmen don’t need to borrow capital from banks because it jacks up their cost.”

He revealed that the FASTER system was running with zero balance and consumed on the average 40-50 hours to process a refund claim.

“It is functioning with 95.5% efficiency which indicates that the nuisance tax refund system is outstanding,” he said.

“The old refund claims remain stuck but instructions are issued during this regard and taxpayers should request field formations to urge their old claims processed, which can be done on priority through the FASTER system,” he said.

Referring to tax litigation, he said that a huge amount of revenue remained blocked for the FBR and if it succeeds in recovering just 20% of it, then revenue target would be met and therefore the country would not need to approach the IMF to request a cut in it.

Speaking on the occasion, Businessmen Group Chairman Zubair Motiwala urged the FBR to disclose its priorities for budget measures in order that the KCCI and other trade associations could forward precise budget proposals in accordance with them.

“Small businesses face serious income problems and that they don’t have access to banking channels,” he said while expressing concern.

Appreciating the performance of FASTER system, he urged the FBR to also concentrate to the tiny and medium enterprises whose tax refunds remained stuck.

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