FBR’s measures to facilitate people
Primary source for a country to generate public revenue is by collecting taxes and fees with an aim to invest it in human capital and infrastructure of the country. The core objective of any tax collection authority is to optimize public revenue by making tax collection process easier and smarter. Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) being the primary tax collection authority in Pakistan is busy in doing the same by providing quality services to its taxpayers and making their life easier.
According to the progress report issued by Ministry of Finance, FBR has performed up to the mark by creating an enabling and accessing environment for the taxpayers. The measures taken by FBR in order to increase revenue is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan.
The Ministry of Finance highlighted the measures which have been taken by the Inland Revenue and few of them given as follows:
Track and Trace System:
A track and trace system has been introduced which will cater multiple sectors including tobacco, sugar, cement, beverage, fertilizer. The purpose of this system is to increase and optimize tax revenue, decrease fabrication, avoiding goods smuggling through robust implementation on national level and electronic control system by affixing tax stamps to various products at the production stage. By implementation of track and trace system FBR will have a strong control over supply chain infrastructure of the manufactured goods.
Point of Sales (POS):
POS is an online invoicing system, it digitizes the economic transactions, and it also caters to the growing needs of digital economy. It is a real-time information and data processing system that connects the tier-1 retailers with FBR database through internet. The purpose of the system is to ensure that the sales are reported in real-time to the FBR and are subjected to monthly filing of sales tax returns.
Automated Issuance of refunds:
For the convenience of taxpayers, a centralized automatic reimbursement system has been introduced which does not require manual application and verification. It issues refunds directly to taxpayers’ bank accounts without the need for face-to-face discussions with tax authorities. Steps have also been taken to activate the legal framework by enacting relevant provisions in tax laws.
Single Sales Tax Portal/Return:
FBR has launched the One-Stop Sales Tax Portal. Sales tax returns for December 2021 were filed in January 2022 under this new portal. While pursuing its vision of facilitating taxpayers and ensuring the ease of doing business through automation, digitization, and minimizing human interaction with taxpayers. This facility will allow taxpayers to file a monthly sales tax return instead of multiple returns on different portals. This will significantly reduce compliance time and costs. The system will automatically distribute tax payments to sales tax authorities along with the input tax adjustment, eliminating the need for payment reconciliation and transfer.
Online hearings are designed to provide free tax administration, which results in reduced compliance costs and save taxpayers’ valuable time. Provision of E-hearing is covered under section 227E of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
E-filing of appeal:
An online appeals procedure has been made available to taxpayers. However, there was a lack of legal provision to allow this, as introduced by section 127 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.