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LAHORE: The Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue Ahmad Shuja Khan said that tax return form has been made easy as it is now available in all regional languages including Urdu, Sindhi, Pushto and Punjabi.

The Tax Chief was speaking at an interactive session at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here on Monday. SAARC President Iftikhar Ali Malik, Commissioner Inland Revenue Humaira Maryam also spoke on the occasion.

On the demand of the LCCI President, the Chief Commissioner promised to extend cooperation to Hafeez Centre fire Victims. "We would not stay behind in this hour of need for our brothers of Hafeez Centre" he said.

The Chief Commissioner said that it was a long standing demands of the business community that tax forms are cumbersome therefore it was decided to translate these forms into regional languages. FBR is working to establish close liaison with the business community and taking all possible measures for trust building, he said. He said that FBR considers businessmen as partners and not adversary. The government needs revenue to run its affairs smoothly.

Chief Commissioner also gave a presentation and replied the queries rose by the participants and informed the participants that income tax return filing form has been made simple and easier and it would also be available in regional languages.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said it is really encouraging sign that on the demand of private sector, the officials of FBR have designed comparatively simpler and shorter Income Tax Return form that requires lesser time to fill and is easy to be handled by the less-experienced taxpayers. It is expected that in coming years, the documentary requirements of FBR will turn out to be further uncomplicated that would certainly encourage more people to become filer, he added.

According to the government documents, FBR's tax collection in 2019-20 was Rs 3,997 billion which needs to be improved considerably. The right way for enhancing the tax collection is to expand our tax base by adding up new taxpayers otherwise the regular taxpayers will continue to be over-burdened.

He hoped that rational tax policies from the government especially designed according to the new economic scenario which has been reshaped due to COVID-19 outbreak. Similarly, the private sector should be facilitated to the maximum extent through giving tax exemptions till the revival of business activities across the country.

LCCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion and urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the last date for filing of income tax return so that business community can perform their national duty with ease.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020