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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is working on another scheme for the traders’ community in consultation with the Chief Commissioners of the Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) and relevant trade associations. Sources told Business Recorder here on Monday that the FBR has conducted an internal exercise on the trader’s new scheme, seeking input from the Chief Commissioners.

This would be the third consecutive scheme for the documentation of small shopkeepers and retailers.

The new exercise was started when the traders’ community conveyed reservations to the FBR over the old scheme restored under the Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2022.

The FBR has directed the Chief Commissioners of the RTOs to give their comments and recommendations for finalising the new scheme. Most of the RTOs have submitted their recommendations to the FBR. The RTOs have informed about the viewpoint of traders in their respective city and RTOs own comments on the new scheme. The FBR has also taken the viewpoint of the Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajiran Pakistan.

The FBR will consolidate the recommendations and finalise the new scheme for onward submission to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Scheme restored under Presidential Ord: Traders convey reservations to FBR

On Monday, the president of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry has said that the voice will be raised for the rights of the business community. The business community is concerned about the deployment of FBR staff inside the business centre after the installation of the point of sale (PSO) and strongly condemns it as harassment.

When contacted, Kashif Chaudhry told Business Recorder that the traders are waiting for the draft of the scheme from the FBR. He mentioned that after the arrival of Ishaq Dar they had online consultations with the FBR on the issue and now they were waiting for the draft to see if it is acceptable to them or not.

President of the association, Muhammad Kashif Chaudhry had informed the FBR that the scheme which has been restored under the recently-promulgated Presidential Ordinance, was not acceptable to the traders’ community. The association had shared the detailed plan of a simple fixed scheme with the FBR. The fixed tax scheme should be practical for small traders and shopkeepers across the country.

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. Traders have to pay income tax, sales tax, further tax, extra sales tax, and other taxes on the bills, the traders opined.

According to the FBR, 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. In the recent past, the FBR chairman held a detailed meeting with the representatives of traders from all across the country at the FBR House, Islamabad

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.

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 a fixed tax on retailers that will reduce revenue of Rs42 billion, the FBR has now reverted to the old system of ad valorem tax.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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