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LAHORE: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has integrated 9,952 sales points with the point of sales (PoS) linked invoicing system, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood.

It may be noted that PoS has been a challenge for the FBR because of the resistance from retailers on the one hand and the spread of Covid-19 on the other. Both the factors had slowed down the pace of integration and the FBR had no option but to defer the deadline time

and again through the last year.

However, the SAPM expressed the hope that the pace of integration with the PoS had been quite impressive and was likely to grow further ahead.

He said FBR’s efforts to broaden the tax base were expanding apace and early signs suggested that such efforts were bearing fruits. He said income tax returns for the tax year 2020 had reached 2.62 million by the start of the ongoing month compared to 2.43 million last year, showing an increase of eight percent. The tax deposited with returns was Rs 49.6 billion compared to only Rs 31.0 billion, showing an increase of 60 percent. It may be recalled that last year the final date for submission to returns was February 28. The 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, he said, the FBR had issued notices to nearly 2.1 million taxpayers who were supposed to file returns or had filed a nil return, or mis-declared their assets, or had not been filing returns for sales tax to comply with their legal obligations. The exercise is eliciting an encouraging response. However, those who are not complying would be pursued diligently until compliance is achieved.

Also, he said, the FBR had collected net revenue of Rs 2916 billion during the July-Feb period, which had exceeded the target of Rs 2898 billion.

This represents a growth of about six percent over the collection of Rs 2750 billion during the same period last year, he added.

He said the improved revenue performance was a reflection of growing economic activities in the country despite facing the continued challenge of the 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.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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