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LAHORE: Chief Commissioner Large Taxpayer Office Lahore, Qaiser Iqbal has assured members of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) of expeditious resolution of all tax issues, including refund claims, as the government is committed to facilitate trade and industry and sanction all pending income tax and sales tax refunds in order to relieve the export oriented industry from liquidity crunch, especially in view of the post-Covid economic meltdown.

He expressed these views in a zoom meeting with APTMA members held at APTMA House, Lahore. Abdul Rahim Nasir, Chairman, APTMA Punjab also addressed the session and presented demands of taxpayers to the chief commissioner.

The chief commissioner said that FBR accords prime importance to resolution of all tax matters of exporters and believes in speedy refund of the taxes paid on inputs used in exported goods. In its resolve to expeditiously pay refunds FASTER plus has been recently launched by the FBR. FASTER Plus is processing refunds in 42-72 hours and refund process has been improved with accelerated disposal of refunds.

He further pointed out that FASTER plus is efficiently processing the refunds electronically without human involvement.

Claims which require any detailed verifications shall also be processed on fast track, he added.

The chief commissioner said that a dedicated cell would be set up soon for processing of all deferred cases with the direction to ensure that no deferred claim remains pending indefinitely.

He also assured that the issues relating to WHT on electricity bills of the APTMA members and extension of the benefit of Clause 66, Part IV of the Second Schedule to Income Ordinance would be resolved in consultation with Lesco.

He said issuance of exemption certificates would also be expedited to avoid undue delays, if any, faced by member mills of APTMA Punjab.

He agreed that undue inclusion of all buyers and suppliers of the suspected units in investigations on detection of any case of tax fraud was fraught with risks of causing harassment to genuine tax payers.

He said arrangements are being made to stop summoning of all registered persons especially in those cases where buying or selling was done after confirmation of being on ATL of FBR and duly complying with the procedures and requirements of Sales Tax law.

He appreciated the suggestion that APTMA may be associated for assisting Tax Office in a meaningful inquiry in all such matters.

He said FBR is also working to develop a new software which will eliminate flying / bogus invoices.

He said that LTO 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.

Responding to the issue of calling huge documents in the notices issued by the Tax Office, he was of the view that only those documents which are not available sin the online system like stock and proof of payment etc should be only called.

Abdul Rahim Nasir, Chairman, APTMA Punjab expressed his deep gratitude to the chief commissioner LTO, Lahore and his team for their assurance of early resolution of tax-related issues of the industry. He hoped that such interactions would continue in future as well in the larger interest of country's exports, employment and investment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020