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KARACHI: Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), has demanded that in order to facilitate and enable the willing and law-abiding tax filers of the business, industry and trade community of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should extend the last date to file income tax returns by 15 days without any penalties.

I, as President of the apex body, am proposing this on basis of feedback from across Pakistan, as FPCCI represents all 250 plus chambers, associations and trade bodies of the country, he said.

He highlighted that this year the number of income tax return filers has increased by approximately 15 percent, and both the filers and the officers need some breathing space to handle the additional burden. It is an encouraging trend to witness the number of income tax filers increasing and the remaining expected filers should also be given an opportunity to complete their filing process.

FPCCI Chief added that Wednesday, November 15, 2023 appears to be an appropriate date to accept the income tax returns as the authorities are well aware of the fact that finances and accounts of all the businesses in Pakistan were badly affected due to historic inflationary pressures, volatility in rupee value, restrictions on imports, multi-fold increase in utility payments and overall economic conditions of the country.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh also reiterated his demand that the income tax filing procedure should be simplified and the additional tax revenues should be achieved through broadening of the tax base, rather than squeezing active tax filers even further. The more you simplify the income tax form and streamline the taxation rates, the more businesses will be able to file income tax returns in time. It is a win-win solution for all, he added.

Muhammad Suleman Chawla, SVP FPCCI, maintained that the economic upheaval has particularly affected SMEs in the country and they are also constrained by their limited ability to pay fee to tax consultants and lawyers and that is why, they take a little bit more time to calculate and file their income tax returns.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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