FBR claims success with tax app

Updated September 19, 2019

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Within two days of its launch, the mobile app for simplified return has received 98 salary returns digitally and thousands of downloads of the app, indicating its success according to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). — AFP/File
Within two days of its launch, the mobile app for simplified return has received 98 salary returns digitally and thousands of downloads of the app, indicating its success according to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Within two days of its launch, the mobile app for simplified return has received 98 salary returns digitally and thousands of downloads of the app, indicating its success according to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

The app “Tax Asaan” has been operational since Monday (Sept 16) with its scope limited to the salary income of an individual.

Speaking to Dawn on Wednesday, FBR chairman Shabbar Zaidi said the tax collection body had updated the app for income tax return filing for salaried persons only, claiming it would greatly assist taxpayers in the filing of their returns without any trouble. “We encourage all taxpayers to submit their returns on time,” he said.

The chairman urged the taxpayers to use the app and make the country stronger by paying their due taxes. He said even though the app was on a trial basis but there had been an encouraging response.

Till Wednesday, on Google’s official Android operating system there were over 20,000 downloads of the app and 6,000 plus downloads on Apple’s iOS mobile operating system by different users.

In terms of submission of salary return, the data showed as many as 1,753 draft returns and 98 returns had been submitted online so far through the app which the chairman said was reflective of its success.

The FBR has also uploa­ded the new electronic form of return for individuals, salaried individuals and association of persons for the tax year 2019 on the FBR website after making necessary amendments. The deadline for the submission of returns has been set for Sept 30.

However, a senior tax official told Dawn that the existing app only caters to the salary income with few more variations.

There is also no concept of creating new wealth statement through this app.

There were other deficiencies in the app such as that it will not calculate the rental, business and property incomes of salaried individuals if they have any.

To overcome these deficiencies, the tax official said the FBR would launch a second version of the app in a few days which would include all these incomes generated other than salaries by an individual.

Similarly, the wealth statement will also be made part of the new app. “We will formally launch a new app in the next two to three days,” the official said.

However, he did not disclose whether the app will also support key tools like income tax calculator, or any other tools to facilitate taxpayers in e-filing of the tax return.

No online tutorial is available to guide filers to use the app.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2019