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Record 2.5m tax returns filed for tax year 2018

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FBR asks SSGC and SNGPL to deny gas connections to enterprises not on ATL. — AFP/File
FBR asks SSGC and SNGPL to deny gas connections to enterprises not on ATL. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Friday announced that nearly 67 per cent more income tax returns were received for the tax year 2018 compared to the preceding year.

The board received 2.51 million tax returns for the first time in its history as against 1.49m returns filed tax year 2017.

Last date for filing of income tax returns for tax year 2018 was extended eight times consecutively to facilitate individuals to file their returns.

FBR has set a target of tax returns of 4m for tax year 2019.

FBR official spokesperson Dr Hamid Ateeq told Dawn that the last date for the filing of tax returns will not be extended any more.

No gas connection

FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi has requested managing directors Sui Northern Gas Company Ltd and Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd that consumers not present on Active Tax Payers List (ATL) should not be provided commercial and industrial gas connections.

In separate letters addressed to the MDs of these gas utilities, the FBR chairman said section 181 AA of the Income Tax Ordinance states that “...notwithstanding anything contained in any law, for the time being in force, any application for commercial or industrial connection, of electricity or gas shall not be processed and such connection, shall not be provided unless the person applying for electricity or gas connection is registered under Section 181.

FBR asks SSGC and SNGPL to deny gas connections to enterprises not on ATL

This provision of law, which contains a ‘non obstante’ clause overriding other laws for the time being in force mandatorily requires every person who is provided a commercial or industrial gas connection to be on ATL.

Mr Zaidi stated that many users of commercial and industrial gas connections did not fall within ATL. He requested that the list of all persons using industrial and commercial gas connections be shared with FBR as soon as possible.

Moreover, intimation may be issued by the company to the users of such connections to comply with the aforesaid conditions laid down under the Income Tax law.

The FBR chairman suggested appointing a ‘focal person’ to coordinate with FBR for this purpose.

Charge of sales tax

The FBR has announced that a business, which was not registered for sales tax and did not have a 13-digit sales tax registration number (STRN), was not authorised to charge sales tax.

The FBR, in a circular issued on Friday, stated that the general public had lodged complaints against businessmen, who were charging sales tax from consumers without being registered with the board under the Sales Tax Act-1990.

It clarified that STRN (13 digits) was issued to every individual who was registered for sales tax purpose and only that person was authorized to change sales tax on his taxable sales except where goods fall under third schedule to the Sales Tax Act-1990.

“A business which is not registered for sales tax and does not have an STRN is not authorized to charge sales tax on the invoice,” the FBR added.

It advised the public that “an invoice which does not bear a valid STRN should not include any sales tax amount and if any sales tax amount is indicated, the customer is entitled to demand a sales tax invoice with STRN printed on it.” The FBR clarified that mentioning of NTN (national tax number) was not a substitute for STRN.

“In order to facilitate the general public, FBR has set up a special help line. The consumers are encouraged to send the images of such invoices or report the matter to FBR for action on 111-772-772 or email at stmonitoring@fbr.gov.pk,” the FBR circular said.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2019