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LAHORE: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is likely to introduce a single sales tax return for the persons associated with businesses during the next fiscal year, said sources.

They said that the Board has finalized arrangements in collaboration with the provincial revenue authorities and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has already been signed to facilitate businessmen in this respect.

The business community would get rid of filing many returns of sales tax, and instead, both the Board and provincial revenue departments would require a single tax return from the next fiscal year.

Efforts are also afoot to introduce a single web portal to the taxpayers, they added. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood has said that the Board, with the assistance of the World Bank, is fast-moving towards digital transformation.

It would be helpful in reducing the number of sales tax returns and radically improve business processes with the latest technology that foresees the implementation of systems supported by real-time.

Also, he said, it would ensure that there is a substantial increase in productivity while enhancing taxpayer’s satisfaction through automation of processes & simplification of tax compliance procedures aiding Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) and most importantly designing processes and services that foster economic growth.

He said the MoU signed between the Board and the Provincial Revenue Authorities would supplement the efforts for early documentation of economy, in particular, through a single sales tax return and web portal.

This whole exercise is aimed at harmonization of sales tax throughout the country and to facilitate taxpayers.

It may be noted that World Bank is already sponsoring the Board under its reform program “Pakistan Raises Revenue”. The objective of this program is to achieve system transformation through information technology.

It is also worth noting that the automated process for cargo scanning and clearance of the first consignment for the Gwadar Free Zone was made possible by utilizing IT to improve service delivery.

The campaign against smuggling, according to him, especially counterfeit cigarettes is in full swing and the implementation of the track and trace system in the next few months will help overcome the menace of counterfeit, illicit and non-tax paid cigarettes in the market.

He said taxpayers are being facilitated and educated continuously through FBR’s dedicated Contact Center, E-Kachehries, PMDU, webinars, and various campaigns.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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