KARACHI: Finance and Revenue Minister Shaukat Tarin has assured businessmen that no notices will be issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) from July 1 as the taxpayers will be able to carry out self-assessment whereas only 4 to 5 per cent of the cases will be sent for audit which will not be done by FBR but by the third party.
“I want to remove harassment by FBR. Although there are good people at FBR but there are also some troublemakers. Hence, we have agreed upon Universal Tax Self-Assessment and the audits by third party only,” he added while speaking at an online meeting with BMG leadership and office-bearers of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday.
Mr Tarin warned that if any wrongdoing was found after the audit by third party, it will result in initiation of investigation and punitive action. “In this regard, we have created a section to review all the bills, number of deposits and travel history etc of individuals and if any person is found liable to pay taxes but is a defaulter, such cases will be sent to third-party auditors to prove tax default and if proven, these defaulters will be put behind the bars,” he said, adding that laws will be devised to put such persons behind bars responsible for willful default.
The government is also focused on rationalising the turnover tax in order to make some sense as it varies in numerous cases, he said.
Three-year Rs900bn Karachi package being finalised
The minister also agreed that when 3pc penalty was being charged in case of unregistered persons, the CNIC condition should not be there. Hence, the minister directed FBR to look into this matter and stop demanding CNIC. “A call centre will also be established at FBR in which complaints can be lodged which I will personally review on a daily basis to ensure accountability at the FBR,” he added.
On dilapidated infrastructure of Karachi, Mr Tarin said a three-year package of Rs900 billion has been allocated under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for Karachi which would be finalised by the PM. “During discussions on this allocation at a meeting which will be presided over by the Prime Minister, I will definitely raise business community’s concerns and I will be your promoter,” he assured businessmen.
He said that the government was trying its best to facilitate the SMEs and, in this regard, the SMEs falling under the bracket of Rs2 million will be provided ‘clean credit’ facility with no security. For this purpose, the government would be providing huge amount of funds to banks at 8pc which would be given to SMEs at 9pc while credit insurance would be provided by the government.
Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2021