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LAHORE: Wholesalers and traders are in search of a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that was likely to be issued under an agreement between Chairman FBR and representatives of trade associations on 28th October 2019.

Under this agreement, the implementation of the CNIC requirement for sale and purchase was deferred till 31st January 2020. However, the trader associations are looking for any such SRO, notification, or any enactment providing legal cover to this agreement because the field formations of the Board have started enforcing the requirement of CNIC while making it effective from October 2019 and eventually rejecting the related input tax of buyers not bearing CNIC number. A copy of the agreement is available with Business Recorder.

As per details of the agreement, both the FBR and traders had agreed that a trader with Rs100 million turnover would pay 0.5 percent turnover tax instead of 1.5 percent. Similarly, a trader with Rs100 million turnover would not be considered as a withholding agent of the Board. The Board was supposed to consult with traders’ organizations to determine the turnover tax for trades earning less than Rs100 million per annum. Also, the Board had agreed to resolve the issues of jewellers in collaboration with the concerned associations.

For registration purposes under the Sales Tax Act, the limit of electricity bills was enhanced to Rs1.2 million from earlier Rs600,000. The Board had also agreed to set up a special desk within its premises with a BPS-20/21 officer in charge to meet and resolve traders’ issues on monthly basis. Similarly, traders had also agreed to cooperate with the Board for new registrations on the part of traders. Both sides had also agreed to resolve issues relating to the registration of a shop up to 1000 square feet and wholesale businesses for sales tax purposes.

This agreement has bound both sides to defer the condition of CNIC on every sale and purchase transaction until 31st January 2020. However, the FBR has failed to issue any further notification or SRO to formalize the agreement, leaving the traders in the lurch and let the field formation terrorize traders at large. Business Recorder has received no official response from the authorities concerned in the Board despite repeated requests.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021