Exporters get Rs22bn refunds via new system

Published September 3, 2019
The Fede­ral Board of Revenue (FBR) on Monday released Rs22 billion of verified sales tax refunds to exporters through the newly installed Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (FASTER) system. — AFP/File
The Fede­ral Board of Revenue (FBR) on Monday released Rs22 billion of verified sales tax refunds to exporters through the newly installed Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (FASTER) system. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Fede­ral Board of Revenue (FBR) on Monday released Rs22 billion of verified sales tax refunds to exporters through the newly installed Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (FASTER) system.

The first payment through FASTER module against the refund claims for July has been made and the State Bank of Pakistan confirmed the credit of refund amount in the claimants’ bank accounts, the FBR said.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh took to his twitter account to share the decision that the government has taken important decisions on tax refunds “for the promotion of economic activity in the country and to provide liquidity support to businesses.”

Shaikh wrote that the government is to release Rs22bn as sales tax refunds immediately, along with Rs1.7bn of income tax refunds (up to Rs100, 000) for all years. He went on to say that the verification process for other outstanding refunds to be expedited.

Meanwhile, the income tax refunds between Rs100, 000 and Rs500, 000 for all years will be paid next month. The government in the budget announced to expedite the payment of refunds to taxpayers.

According to an official statement of FBR, it is highlighted that only nine refund claims of five export-oriented sectors were received by August 30, and the payment has been made against the claims that were cleared by the risk management system of FASTER module.

The press release says the number of refund claims received is not significant, adding that FBR encourages exporters to submit their claims in form Annex-H at the earliest so that their claims can be processed and paid.

As a consequence of the rescission of SRO 1125(I)/2011, which allowed zero-rating of inputs of five export-oriented sectors, FBR had committed with the exporters of said sectors - textiles, leather, carpets, sports goods and surgical goods - that refunds shall be paid to them within 72 hours of filing of the refund claim.

FBR has earlier clarified that submission of Annex-H, which is a form in the monthly sales tax return, will be treated as submission of the refund claim. For this purpose, the tax body has developed a new IT module called FASTER which has now been operationalised. It will process claims of exporters of five the five sectors for July and onwards.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2019

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