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KARACHI: The FASTER plus is processing refunds in 42-72 hours while refund process has been improved with speedy refunds in general, Dr Aftab Imam, Chief Commissioner, Corporate Tax Office (CTO) Karachi said on Saturday.

While visiting PHMA House, Karachi for a meeting with exporters registered with Corporate Tax Office Karachi he said: “FBR accords importance to taxation matter of exporters and believes in speedy refunds of their monies which is actually the investment of exporters.”

Timely refunds will enable the export industries for further investment which will ultimately bring foreign exchange to the country and shall also generate revenue for the exchequer, he added.

He said that the FASTER plus is processing refunds in 42-72 hours while refunds process has been improved with speedy refunds in general.

However, he pointed out, particular cases of exporters and all the legitimate pending matters of exporters in the hands of Corporate Tax Office, Karachi shall be resolved on a priority basis.

Earlier Tariq Munir, Chairman (SZ), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association welcomed Dr Aftab Imam, Chief Commissioner, CTO Karachi who was accompanied by Zulfiqar Khokhar, Collector to PHMA.

Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, Chief Coordinator & Former Central Chairman, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association invited the attention of Chief Commissioner CTO-Karachi on burning issue of exporters related to Sales Tax Refund / Audit, Income Tax Refund / Audit, Zero Rated Certificate for reduced tariff of electricity and gas and other issues.

He was of the view that after a lapse of 16 months, after various consultative sessions and suggestion of exporters, FASTER refund system has been improved and also transformed to FASTER plus which is appreciable as the system is efficiently processing the refunds electronically upto 80 percent without human involvement. Remaining 20 percent may have some issues of filing which after resolution shall also be processed on fast track.

He was of the view that due to speedy refunds increasing trend in textile exports is witnessed. He stated that several members have informed that still amounts are missed and deferred in the FASTER system which should be looked into and rectified. He proposed that total missing amount should be reflected in the Sales Tax Refund MIS.

Bilwani also highlighted the matter of Notices of Post Audit Refund of Sales Tax as well as Income Tax issued to exporters demanding huge documentation which is already available with FBR system and same should be done away with and only necessarily required relevant documents should be demanded because the entire textile export chain is documented. He also urged that all the FBR Notices should have barcodes and should be sent electronically.

The exporters should be provided the facility to apply for zero rated certificate regarding reduced tariff of gas and electricity to FBR and same should also be provided electronically. FBR and SRB system are linked and integrated.

After patiently hearing, the Chief Commissioner CTO-Karachi, Dr Aftab Imam assured the exporters that all the issues of exporters will be resolved on top priority without delays. He stated that exporters may personally visit his office to meet and discuss their individual issues in order to resolve them. He stated after transformation to FASTER plus, the sales tax refund system was efficiently processing the claims. There were certain checks in the system which was necessary. FBR is also working to develop a new software which will eliminate flying / bogus invoices.

He said that CTO was playing its due role in policy making by communicating the matters and issues related to exporters by sending to the Board for implementation thereof. Commenting on the Post Refund Audit notices, he added that all the income tax notices issued bear a barcode while the Post Refund audit notices regarding sales tax bear no barcode, however, they are valid notices.

The system is going through developmental phase and in next few weeks Post Refund Audit notices issued shall also reflect the barcode. Replying to huge demand of documents in the notices, he opined that particular documents which are not available in the online system like stock and proof of payment should be given. Responding to the requests of issuance of zero rated certificates, he informed that he has already written to FBR for the purpose. Upon confirmation, the requested certificates shall be issued on urgent basis.

On this occasion, Abdul Jabbar Gajiani, Senior Vice Chairman, Bashir Ghaffar Vice Chairman, Khizer Mehboob, Chairman, Taxation Committee, Abdur Rehman Former Vice Chairman PHMA, Saleem Parekh, Qadir Bilwani, Ilyas Gigi, Advocate Arshad Shehzad, Tax Advisor were also present and other member exporters participated through zoom in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020