ISLAMABAD: The Taxpayers’ Satisfaction Survey (2023) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has strongly recommended an effective communications strategy to enhance facilitation and taxpayer education and promote the FBR’s credibility through transparency.
According to the results of the FBR’s Taxpayers’ Satisfaction Survey (2023), the survey recommended that the FBR website is a rich resource and gateway to information on FBR’s products and services. While majority of surveyed businesses had accessed the website and found the content useful, it was observed that the ability of navigating the website could be further improved. Moreover, website content needs to be made more accessible for non-users, such as those falling in the sole proprietorship category, through better placement of relevant content. Similarly, while businesses indicated improvement in the IRIS portal in recent years, survey scores related to its ease of navigating exhibits room for further improvement.
The survey results revealed that the customized facilitating measures to encourage/facilitate tax return filing and compliance Taxpayer facilitation programs should be designed to meet specific needs of business taxpayer segments (ie, sole proprietors, AOPs, private limited and public companies) – beyond current segmentation based on businesses’ revenue volume. Findings suggest that businesses have differing needs, such as more basic assistance required amongst sole proprietors related to tax return filing to more complex tax matters amongst public limited companies. Moreover, women-led businesses highlighted a greater need than male-led businesses for facilitation in the process of tax return filing.
Measures such as dedicated help desks at RTOs, dedicated telephonic and email services, and outreach activities focused on particular business segments or women-led businesses with coordination from business chambers and sector associations may be considered. Once developed, equally important will be to appropriately advertise these facilitation programs to the respective target audiences, survey added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023