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LAHORE: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has restored the sanctity of the last date of filing of income tax return after many years and taxpayers have filed 2.3 million returns till 31st December compared to 2.17 million last year.

The income tax paid during filing of returns stood at Rs43.5 billion compared to only Rs28 billion deposited last, showing an increase in tax deposit with returns of 55 percent, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood.

According to him, the decision to not extend the income tax return filing date was part of the grand scheme of things to foster a tax compliant society that honours its tax commitments and obligations. He said taxpayer education and facilitation would be complemented by strict enforcement efforts that have zero tolerance for tax evaders and smugglers. He said the FBR would keep doing its best in keeping up its efforts of transitioning to a modern tax service whose ethos is 'Taxpayer First Attitude'.

He said the FBR is adopting enforcement measures that include operations against tax evaders and anti-smuggling drive with actions against Benami transactions. Pakistan Customs seizes smuggled vehicles worth Rs120 million in coordination with Frontier Corps and Balochistan Police after raiding a showroom situated on Quetta-Chamman Highway and seized 24 luxury vehicles.

The Pakistan Customs is taking landmark steps to seize smuggled goods and protect the market and the interest of traders involved in legal trade. He said such actions would not only protect the market from hazardous and smuggled goods but will also promote foreign direct investment by boosting the confidence and trust of investors.

He further said the FBR has instructed its field formations to gear up their anti-smuggling operations against illicit and smuggled cigarettes. Already, he said the Intelligence & Investigation Customs has seized 6.7 million cartons of smuggled cigarettes from July 2020 to November 2020 having an approximate value of Rs542 million. Also, he said, the Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) has seized 35.8 million sticks of cigarettes during the period from July 2020 to November 2020.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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