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LAHORE: After crossing the mark of 100,000 taxpayers within nine years of its transfer from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to the province of Punjab after the 18th amendment, the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) has registered highest-ever collection of its history in the month of April.

Chairman PRA Zain-Ul-Abidin Sahi said the Authority has collected remarkable tax revenue of Rs 14.112 billion in April 2022, in the month of April registering an unprecedented growth of 45% than the Rs 9.720 billion collected in April 2021 last year.

He said the PRA in its first 10 months of the current FY 2021-22 has so far managed to collect a tax revenue of over Rs 138.7 billion showing a substantial growth of 19 percent over Rs 117 billion collected in the same time period last year suggesting the Authority is well on track to surpass its target of Rs 155.9 billion for the year.

He pointed out that the number of taxpayers was merely 2,357 in 2012 when the FBR had transferred the collection of sales tax on services to the province after showing a collection of Rs 22 billion against 12 services. The number of taxpayers was 94,600 in June 2021 who had paid Rs 143.75 billion sales tax against 70 services.

According to him, the PRA has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mahboob-ul-Haq Research Centre to engage a team of researchers from top international universities including Harvard University, Columbia University, London School of Economics, and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) to identify gaps in tax policy and administration to help PRA achieve its true potential.

It may be noted that said the Punjab government is considering imposing 5% sales tax on the entertainment industry from the next fiscal year onwards. The Authority has already initiated compulsory registration of cinemas and theatres in the city with the start of the ongoing month of April. They have pointed out that the Authority had extended six opportunities to the industry for voluntary registration instead of the regular three opportunities under the law. However, only one, out of 26 cinemas and theatres turned up for voluntary registration.

To minimize the compliance gap, Abidin said that some 350 workshops have been organized over the last one and a half years besides providing guidance to 2,689 individual taxpayers on how to respond tax notices. A pictorial “users’ guide” has also been displayed on the website to improve the comprehension of taxpayers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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