ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tuesday set the target to mount Sales  Tax Registration (STN) upto 400,000 people in next three years to eventually  boost revenue collection and documentation of economy.

“Around 250,000 people are already registered with FBR's sales tax net,  however only 41,000 were paying the sales tax, which is very low," said  Member, Inland and Revenue  (Policy) FBR, Dr Hamid Ateeq Sarwar at the  launching ceremony of digital app ‘Tax Assan'.  He was accompanied by  Member Information Technology (IT) Mehmood Aslam.

Dr Hamid Ateeq said that the FBR could improve performance of sales  tax by ensuring the collection from manufacturing and retailers. “We have  100 percent coverage from import sector and the Board has been working  on manufacturing and potential retail sector to increase its sales tax base,"  he added.

He said the FBR would mainly be focusing 4000 big store of different  brands, including the clothes and shoes to bring them into tax net.He added  that these brands were allowed to get only 14 percent sales tax from their  customers on collection and advised customers to check Sales Tax Number  (STN) before paying for their products.

Highlighting the main features of the digital App, the Member Inland Revenue  and Policy said that it was being introduced for improving the system according  to the international standards to facilitate the taxpayers, adding it would have  on-the-spot 5 percent payback facility for customers at retail shops.

He said, through this App, the customers would automatically be informed  about the sales tax deduction by FBR, adding this App would facilitate them  to know about registered shops and brands.

The member said that the FBR had initiated automation process through  use of modern digital tools for increasing revenue and facilitating the tax-filers.

The automation process in the FBR has already been started while short,  medium and long-term strategies have been evolved to expand its outreach  to all department including sales tax, income tax, customs duty and federal  excise duties for introducing the best international practices in the  institutions.

He said the objective to bring about automation in about 60 percent  operations of the Board as per the international standard, saying that  automation was top priority of the government.

He said that around 100,000 people have been issued notices on the  basis of data, provided by different banks, indicating them to be the  potential filers but there were non-filers so far.

Replying to a question, he said that FBR had not levied any tax on  books, register copy and the stationary items of school children.

He said that people must inform the FBR about those selling  expensive stationary items.

Meanwhile, in his presentation about the ‘Tax Assan' App, FBR member  IT, Mehmood Aslam said that for modernization and simplification of the FBR  system, the government had introduce the automation in FBR to facilitate  the tax-filers.

“We are working in line with the vision of the government for evolving an  integrated automation system to address different complaints," he added.

He said ‘Tax Assan' App would be facilitating the new tax-filer for  registering their application and soon after completion of registration  they would get their STN.

He said that after registration for STN, the filers must go through  Bio-Metric verification to National Database and Registration Authority  (NADRA) within 30 days otherwise STN registration to be inactive  after 30 days.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019