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ISLAMABAD: In a new development, the traders’ community Thursday conveyed reservations to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) over the old scheme restored under the Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2022.

On the conclusion of a meeting between the delegation of Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajiran Pakistan and the FBR here at the FBR House. President of the association, Muhammad Kashif Chaudhry told Business Recorder that the scheme which has been restored under the recently-promulgated Presidential Ordinance is not acceptable to the trader’s community.

The meeting was attended by the FBR chairman and all relevant Members of the FBR including the FBR Member Inland Revenue Policy at the FBR House. Traders’ side was headed by Muhammad Kashif Chaudhry.

We have shared the detailed plan of a simple fixed scheme with the FBR. The fixed tax scheme should be practical for the small traders and shopkeepers across the country, Kashif Chaudhry said.

Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajiran Pakistan president also informed that traders are suffering very badly due to the past decision of imposing sales tax on electricity bills, increasing electricity and gas prices, and the continuous depreciation of the rupee against the dollar. He added that the association has also requested the FBR chairman to take up the issue of fuel price adjustment on electricity bills with the government. Traders have to pay income tax, sales tax, further tax, extra sales tax, and other taxes on the bills.

Ordinance promulgated: Amended tax laws come into force

According to an announcement of the FBR on Thursday, the government has withdrawn the fixed tax on retailers through the recently-promulgated Ordinance. Any new scheme of tax on retailers will be planned and implemented in consultation with the traders. The FBR chairman held a detailed meeting with the representatives of traders from all across the country at the FBR House, Islamabad on Thursday afternoon. 21 representatives of Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajiran Pakistan attended the meeting and some participants joined through video link.

The FBR chairman invited proposals regarding the features of the proposed tax scheme that would serve the purpose of facilitating the filing of income tax returns as well as ensuring revenue for the country. The traders appreciated the initiative of active consultative approach taken by the FBR and put forth various suggestions on the issue.

Earlier on 25th August, a meeting with the representatives from all across Pakistan under All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran was also held by the chairman FBR in Islamabad. While addressing the participants of the two meetings, the chairman FBR resolved to keep follow-up meetings at the FBR headquarters and also at the regional level so that, through consultation and consensus, a feasible and workable scheme of taxation for retailers and traders is evolved.

The traders were requested to make in-house deliberations among themselves and firm up their suggestions for the future tax scheme to be rolled out next month.

The next round of meetings will be held with the traders’ bodies next week, the FBR added.

Under the Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2022, the Fixed Tax Scheme introduced for retailers (other than tier-I retailers) on commercial electricity connection has been withdrawn with effect from July 1, 2022 and the previous regime (prevailing prior to Finance Act 2022) has been restored. Instead of fixed tax on retailers that will reduce revenue of Rs42 billion, we will now revert to the old system of ad valorem tax. This will mean a reduction in FBR revenue of Rs15 billion. We will compensate this by imposing taxes on tobacco and cigarettes of Rs36 billion.

The federal government has been empowered to make any future scheme and determine its modalities including tax rate or amount and the date when it will be implemented for retailers to collect tax on commercial connections. Till the new scheme is announced by the federal government, the previous regime prior to Finance Act, 2022 will remain in force.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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