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KARACHI: Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has asked the government to introduce structural reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in order to make it efficient, effective and transparent.

In a letter to the Finance Minister Asad Umar on Thursday, PTBA President Abdul Qadir Memon has said that the government must work to increae tax base rather than burdening the existing taxpayers.

The association said that the FBR and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) must be depoliticised so that they can operate independently.

The bar pointed out that the lack of harmonisation in federal and provincial taxes and interprovincial taxes has resulted in rise of disputes and litigations. Towards this, the tax bar suggested finance minister to form and head a “National Tax Authority”.

“Therefore, the PTBA is desirous that the government should reasonably increase tax collection without jeopardising the interest of various segments of economy and their long-term growth potential.”

“The policy should not be just about producing a competitive tax environment but also to create a fair tax system that takes into account the ability to pay along with simplified tax laws that encourages high rate of compliance,” the letter says.

Furthermore, the letter asked the government to set-up “policy board on tax revenues” under the chairmanship of finance minister comprising economists, representatives of professional bodies (tax and accounting), State Bank of Pakistan, SECP, Ministry of Finance and FBR.

The PTBA is a representative body of 30 tax bars with more than 8,000 members including lawyers, chartered accountants, cost and management accountants and tax practitioners.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018