ISLAMABAD: Taxpayers are facing different problems including technical issues/ errors in timely filing of income tax return and wealth statement for tax year 2023.
Tax experts and advisors told Business Recorder that certain errors have been witnessed during electronic filing of new income tax return through the “IRIS” system. There are issues of miscalculation and frequent breakdowns during filing of returns. This has resulted in delay in filing of tax returns for the tax year 2023.
The restoration of the old version of the “IRIS” system would also facilitate taxpayers in timely filing of returns. They said for example, salary data fed in salary page of Income tax Return 2023 is not being shifted by the system in final/computation page.
A tax expert even raised a question whether it is really a system error?
Similarly, other kinds of issues have been witnessed in the filing of income tax return for the tax year 2023.
On the intervention of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), the FBR has corrected calculation of the tax liabilities for pensioners, senior citizens and members of Shuhada families in the income tax return devised for Tax Year 2023, The discrepancies in their tax calculations has been removed by the FBR.
The FTO has also directed the FBR to introduce “green channel mode” for salaried individuals/ pensioners. The FTO will ensure that the new income tax return form must be notified in 30 days’ period. The FTO is seriously pursuing the matter with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to facilitate the salaried individuals/ pensioners. The FBR has admitted that there is no legal issue in notifying a separate return for the salaried individuals/ pensioners.
FTO has observed that when a salaried individual opens the return through the “IRIS” online system, there are 34 different columns/ tabs are opened and only 4 are relevant to the salaried individuals. Thus, 30 tabs/ columns in the return are irrelevant for the salaried individuals/ pensioners.
Out of more than 4.2 million taxpayers on Active Taxpayer List, a large number of active filers fell in the category of fixed income group, being either salaried class or pensioners (1.4 million taxpayers).
The salaried persons have to unnecessarily go through all the fields to fill-up the relevant fields. Besides, the so-called simplified form introduced through software Wizard is also beyond comprehension of an ordinary individual who is neither familiar with tax terminology and nor is he computer literate. In “Wizard,” out of 66 tabs/ columns, only 10 are relevant to salaried individuals/pensioners.
The FTO has directed Member (Policy) and Member (Information & Technology) to devise a new return from and also reopen new window in existing Iris for salaried only taxpayer within 30 days.
In order to provide simplified version of returns it is; therefore, befitting to devise a separate tax return for salaried individuals having only minimum fields relevant to his source of income. The FTO stated that the existing return asks irrelevant questions from the salaried individuals/ pensioners like “Resident” or non-resident status etc. A separate “IRIS” window should be opened for the salaried class asking only few relevant questions.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023