ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has received record number of 2.163 million income tax returns for the tax year 2021 up to October 11, 2021.
Sources told Business Recorder here on Monday that the response of the taxpayers is very encouraging in filing of income tax returns for the tax year 2021.
Tax deposited with 2.163 million income tax returns for tax year 2021 has also increased. The FBR had collected Rs 39 billion tax along with 1.86 million income tax returns filed till September 30, 2021. The FBR's "IRIS" system is smoothly working, but people are not utilising its full potential.
At present there is no load on the system and it is the best time to file returns.
People should not wait for the last date for filing of returns to avoid system issues. The FBR had timely uploaded forms for filing of income tax returns for TY 2021 on July 1, 2021 and thus, afforded taxpayers the statutory period of 90 days to file their tax returns by September 30, 2021.
On numerous occasions, the FBR reiterated its principled stance that it would not extend this period beyond the given deadline i.e. September 30.
At the same time, the FBR launched a comprehensive campaign on mainstream electronic and print media to maximise its outreach and awareness. Besides, the FBR also engaged with national heroes and celebrities to disseminate the same message on social media.
All cellular companies were mobilised to send customised messages to their 130m combined subscribers, across the country.
The above unparalleled awareness campaign reached every household and sensitised general public about the critical value of tax compliance. This resulted in an immense traffic of taxpayers on the FBR website and for the first time ever over 1.8m returns were filed within 90 days ending on September 30. Only in September 28-30 (three days), the FBR had received around 600,000 returns from all over Pakistan. This extraordinary interest in existing and new taxpayers put huge pressure on FBR Iris online portal, which caused occasional disruptions and adversely affected its functional efficiency, particularly on September 30 being the last day. Keeping in view the unprecedented increase in users of our website and the hardships they faced owing to technical hiccups, the FBR notified one-time extension of 15 days on September 30 and extended the return filing deadline till October 15, 2021.
Therefore, it is positively hoped that the taxpayers both old and new will benefit from this extended timeline and thus, file their tax returns well ahead of the final date i.e. October 15. It is further reaffirmed that the extension given on September 30 was only due to the fact that the FBR's IT System got overloaded and since that has been fixed now, no more extension will be allowed beyond October 15, 2021.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021