ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Ashfaq Ahmed said on Saturday that only 3,000 big retailers have integrated with the tax machinery’s online system, while the total sales of retailers are as high as Rs22 trillion.

The facts, which he shared with journalists after the launching of a lucrative prize scheme for the shoppers from Point-of-Sales (POS) integrated tier-1 retail outlets, showed that only a very limited sales fall within reach of the FBR.

The chairman said that only Rs4tr to Rs4.5tr sales come within the visibility of the tax machinery while the rest is yet to be captured.

To sponsor the prize schemes, FBR allowed tier-1 retailers to charge Re1 per slip from buyers and deposit the same in the FBR kitty. This amount is being used for giving prizes to 1,007 lucky winners at a mega publicity event held at FBR headquarters.

Unveils first prize ballot for shoppers from POS-integrated retailers

Mr Ashfaq said that no one will be spared who will commit fraud in depositing their sales tax. He appealed to people to demand verified slips at the time of purchases from POS-integrated retailers.

A few years back the government has launched the POS system to integrate the big retailers with the FBR online system but the integration is taking place at a slow pace. Two years back, the FBR has given a target of 20,000 retailers to the International Monetary Fund.

Answering a question, the FBR chairman said that President Arif Alvi has signed the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 turning it into an act. As a result, he said that the tax exemptions, which were unjustified, had been withdrawn.

The chairman, however, did not elaborate any plan to bring these big retailers into the tax system.

He only appealed to consumers to be part of the campaign to demand the FBR verified receipt at the time of shopping.

Mr Ashfaq further said that the sales which are not reported could not become part of the GDP size. He said the documentation of the sales will also lead to an increase in the GDP size.

Prize distribution

Earlier at a mega show, the FBR unveiled names of 1,007 lucky winners with a total prize amount of Rs53 million through a computerized ballot. These lucky prizes will be announced every month.

The prize scheme was introduced through the Finance Act 2021 which was followed by the issuance of rules for the prize scheme on Aug 9, 2021 by FBR.

The first prize is of Rs1m, followed by two prizes of Rs500,000, four prizes of Rs250,000 and one thousand prizes of Rs50,000 each.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2022

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