PESHAWAR: The business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has rejected the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, and endorsed the decision of All Pakistan Anjuman-i-Tajiran to hold a protest rally outside the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) offices in Islamabad on Sept 29.

The decision was taken in a joint meeting of traders’ bodies in Peshawar on Thursday. The meeting was arranged by Markazi Tanzeem-i-Tajiran, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, wherein representatives of different unions of traders and district level office-bearers also participated.

Briefing mediapersons, the meeting’s convener Malik Meher Ilahi said that under the new tax law, the tax collection bodies had been empowered to disconnect mobile phones/SIMS, electricity and gas connections of persons who were required to file tax returns, but failed to appear on the Active Taxpayer List (ATL).

He said the government had also raised tax ratio and announced a penalty of Rs1,000 per day in case anyone failed to submit tax returns by the deadline.

The tax system, he said, was complicated and the relevant officials of FBR were least bothered to extend cooperation to the people. He asked for simplifying the tax system and demanded abolition of CNIC condition for the buyers.

He suggested the federal government should reactivate the traders’ bodies at regional basis to keep close liaison with the tax collection bodies.

The speakers also opposed tax on the basis of electricity bill or size of shops and said that the tax should be based on income of a trader.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2021

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