KARACHI: Sindh’s sales tax collection in March recorded a growth of over 44 per cent at Rs9.29 billion compared to Rs6.69bn during the corresponding month of last year.

The figure for the first nine months of 2017-18 stood at Rs63.93bn as against Rs53.34bn recorded during same period of 2016-17, reflecting an increase of 19.85pc.

The Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) charges the sales tax at a rate of 13pc and is currently collecting sales tax on 89 services with major revenue coming from telecommunication sector, banks, insurance, ports and terminals operators.

Besides, a big chunk of revenue comes from withholding agents, construction sector, contractors and consultants. The SRB’s revenue target for FY18 is Rs100bn or 28pc higher than Rs87bn target of last fiscal year.

The board has already recorded a growth of 20pc in collection of sales tax on services and hopes to achieve the its revenue target of Rs100bn by adopting a robust recovery drive and providing facilitation and assistance to taxpayers and the business community at large, an official of SRB said.

Contrary to this, the Punjab Revenue Authority has a target of Rs120bn for sales tax on services for FY18 and during the month of March, the body managed to collect Rs10bn while the collection for the first nine months of 2017-18 stood at Rs74bn.

But when looked at the size of the two revenue collecting bodies of Sindh and Punjab, the PRA has much larger consumption base than SRB and also has much more urbanised centres where much of the services are offered.

An official of SRB told Dawn that a sizable amount of revenue is lost due to litigation because many prospective tax payers approach courts to get relief against SRB orders and presently around 316 lawsuits have been filed in the courts.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2018


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