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ISLAMABAD: The net revenue collection of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) stood at Rs 2916 billion during Jul-Feb (2020-21) against the target of Rs 2898 billion, reflecting an increase of Rs 18 billion.

The FBR Sunday released the provisional revenue collection figures for the first eight months of current fiscal year. According to the provisional information, FBR has collected net revenue of Rs.2916 billion during Jul-Feb period, which has exceeded the target of Rs.2898 billion. This represents a growth of about 6 percent over the collection of Rs.2750 billion during the same period last year.

The net collection for the month of February was Rs.343 billion against a required target of Rs.325 billion, representing an increase of 8% over last February and 106% of the target. When finalized after book adjustments, the collection figures are likely to improve further.

On the other hand, the gross collections increased from Rs.2823 billion during this period last year to Rs.3068 billion, showing an increase of nearly 9%. The amount of refunds disbursed was Rs.152 billion compared to Rs.79 billion paid last year, showing an increase of 97%. This is reflective of FBR’s resolve to fast-track refunds to prevent liquidity shortages in the industry.

The improved revenue performance is a reflection of growing economic activities in the country despite facing the continued challenge of second wave of COVID-19. During March-June 2021, it is expected that this revenue performance would be improved substantially compared to 2020 when economic activities were disrupted.

Meanwhile, FBR’s efforts to broaden the tax base are visible. Early signs suggest such efforts are bearing fruits. As on Feb 28, 2021, income tax returns for tax year 2020 have reached 2.62 million compared to 2.43 million last year, showing an increase of 8%. The tax deposited with returns was Rs.49.6 billion compared to only Rs.31.0 billion, showing an increase of 60%. It may be recalled that last year the final date for submission to returns was 28th February. FBR’s decision to adhere to December 8, as the last date has been vindicated as more returns and higher tax payments have been recorded during the tax year 2020 compared to 2019.

Besides, FBR has issued notices to nearly 2.1 million taxpayers who were supposed to file return, or have filed a nil return, or mis-declared their assets or have not been filing return for sales tax to comply with their legal obligations. The exercise is eliciting encouraging response. However, those who are not complying would be pursued diligently until compliance is achieved.

FBR has also released the information about Tier-I retailers who have been integrated with POS system. According to the information, 9952 sales points have been integrated with Point of Sales Linked Invoicing System.

Pakistan Customs has initiated a focused counter-smuggling drive. During February 2021, smuggled goods worth Rs. 4.08 billion have been seized while in February 2020; smuggled goods worth Rs. 3.02 billion were seized, thus showing a monthly increase of 35.18 %. Similarly, during last 8 months (July 2020-Feb 2021) of current financial year smuggled goods worth Rs. 39.52 billion have been seized as compared to Rs. 25.10 billion from July 2019 to February 2020 of the last financial year thus showing an increase of 57.45 %. Moreover, the value of seized goods of Rs 39.52 billion in 8 months of current fiscal year has crossed the total value of seized goods of last year. In 2019-20, smuggled goods worth Rs 36 billion were seized.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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