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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to devise a simple return form (tax year 2022) for persons earning income exclusively from salary.

In this connection, the FTO has issued an order to the FBR here on Tuesday.

The FTO has issued this important order at the time when the FBR has uploaded the Income Tax Return Forms for Tax Year-2022 for Salaried, Association of Persons (AOPs), Business Individuals, and Companies to be filed through FBR’s Web Portal (Iris System), and Tax Asaan application.

According to the FTO’s order, the simplified form supported by employer’s salary certificate may include an undertaking to the effect that the taxpayer is earning no income other than salary.

Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) may also develop dedicated/simplified software for those persons who are earning income from multiple sources but more than 50 percent of the total income is derived from salary, the FTO order added.

The findings of the order revealed that the complaint was filed by a federal government employee in BS-16 that he cannot afford to pay Rs3,000 for filing of his tax return therefore his pay slip may be considered as NTN certificate.

The AGPR issues monthly pay slips after deduction of tax. Since the filing of income tax return form appears very complicated and cumbersome to the complainant therefore he has to hire the services of tax consultant/accountant. Being a lower paid employee he cannot afford to pay consultant’s fee therefore requests that how low paid salaried employees may be exempted from filing income tax return any may be treated as Active Taxpayers on the basis of annual salary statement issued by the AGPR/employer, the FTO maintained.

The FTO order added that there is no denying the fact that the tax return filing process is but complex and majority of taxpayers have to hire services of tax practitioners or accountants to file their annual returns. A large number of taxpayers do not file returns due to the simple reason explained by the complainant. It may be recalled that a few years back annual salary statement was considered as good as tax return but it has been discontinued.

Therefore, the FTO has directed the FBR to devise a simple return form for persons earning income exclusively from salary.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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