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ISLAMABAD: Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Javed Ghani Tuesday assured Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser that the FBR would promptly resolve the issue of stuck up containers at border areas.

Chairman FBR Javed Ghani Tuesday made a courtesy call to the NA Speaker after assuming his charge. The Speaker NA raised the issue of stuck up containers at bordering areas. The Chairman FBR assured him that the FBR would take all out steps to resolve this issue.

The newly appointed Chairman FBR Javed Ghani on Tuesday called on Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and also discussed possibilities of ensuring foolproof arrangements at bordering areas for smooth functioning of clearance of containers. Following outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the bordering areas witnessed stuck up containers. Tax authorities are requesting the government to increase the number of human resource to clear the backlog.

During the meeting, Chairman FBR Javed Ghani said that the FBR was making efforts to develop a simple form for filing of income tax returns, pursuing reforms for next six months and trying to resolve pending litigation before superior judiciary on priority basis to finalize cases involving billions of rupees.

Chairman FBR said that he would also meet Chairman Senate for seeking guidance on undertaking reforms into the FBR. He said that the FBR would convene Commissioners' conference in order to build up good team for achieving the ambitious revenue collection target during 2020-21.

According to sources, tax authorities further stated that the efforts are underway to develop a permanent, but a simple form of income tax returns in order to avoid delays and repeated extensions in filing of returns. The proposed forms of income tax returns would be uploaded on the FBR Website seeking input of stakeholders.

Chairman FBR said that they were discussing with Inland Revenue (IR) officers to develop permanent form and if required proper legislation changes could also be introduced to avoid delays in filing of income tax returns.

Tax authorities informed that they have assigned Member IRS and Member Customs Operations to finalize monthly/quarterly targets with special focus on first quarter by taking into account of COVID-19 pandemic so that effective strategy could be devised to achieve the desired targets. Both these members have finalized numbers and strategies and it would soon be shared with the field formations.

Tax authorities further informed that they have also held a meeting with Attorney General to reduce litigation in courts involving pending cases to the tune of billions of rupees.

He said that the reforms in the tax administration would be pursued as Dr Ishrat Hussain was supervising timelines for undertaking reforms on account of bringing automation and digitalization within the tax machinery.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020