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ISLAMABAD: The first meeting of the task force on tax and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) reforms, constituted by the finance minister, was held here on Saturday.

The FBR had notified the constitution of the task force on September 27, 2023.

The FBR headquarters remained open on Saturday to participate in the meeting of the task force on tax and the FBR reforms. The FBR chairman and the relevant members participated in the meeting.

FBR shares collection data with IMF

The task force discussed the terms of reference for the reforms to be introduced in the tax administration.

According to the sources, the members of the task force expressed concern over reliance on indirect taxes and withholding taxes collected in direct taxes mode for generating revenue and stressed the need for measures to introduce basic structural changes for documenting and increasing revenue from retail, property, and agriculture sectors.

The task force has the mandate to review tax policy measures to capture optimal tax base, correct tax gaps, and enhance the economic efficiency and equity of the tax system.

One of the key terms of references (TORs) of the task force is to identify hurdles/bottlenecks in tax collection and suggesting concrete technology-based measures to cope with the problems.

The task force would examine the tax expenditures of the government and propose a mechanism for cost-benefit analysis for any proposal of tax exemptions.

It would give recommendations on the use of information technology to maximise tax compliance, enforcement, tax base broadening, facilitation and transparency and accountability.

The taskforce would prepare and submit to the government a comprehensive report, focusing on missing elements, proposing short-term, long-term revenue and reform measures, including restructuring of tax administration and changes in laws for bringing efficiency in increasing tax collection.

It will present a vision of tax system, both tax policy and administration for Pakistan in the long term.

The taskforce will also perform activities to develop proposals/measures for ease of paying taxes. It will propose implementation plan for separating revenue collection and tax policy. The taskforce will also review FBR tax collection data and relevant analyses and review tax system performance indicators and reporting mechanisms and identify areas of revenue performance and potential.

It will review the access of the FBR to the internal and third-party data and its use in the tax administration and seek proposals from relevant agencies on developing further data use in enhancing collection efficiencies and lowering compliance and administrative costs.

It will carry out a review of the ongoing tax reforms, their alignment with national policies and objectives, and assess implementation progress and examine tax evasion, smuggling, corrupt practices, and other leakages and shortcomings proposing concrete counter measures.

The taskforce will identify critical structural reforms of the tax administration, human resource requirements, and redressal of taxpayer grievance mechanisms, incentive alignment for tax collection, facilitation and compliance patterns, and other gaps and way forward for efficient tax collection. It will examine collection mechanisms of sales tax, income tax, assessment of import goods and online tax system, including study of system audit reports, for proposing measures to plug loopholes.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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NXT Nov 05, 2023 09:27am
Doomed to fail….
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IMTIAZ CASSUM AGBOATWALA Nov 05, 2023 10:11am
What is wrong on relying on indirect taxes ?
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Muhammed Nov 05, 2023 03:06pm
Agriculture remains Holy Cow under the pretext of Provincial subject. When Federal is responsible for providing subsidised fertilisers, pesticides, seeds, almost free water, subsidised electricity for tube wells & other plethora of incentives then why can’t it levy tax on it? Recovery of tax by provincial governments is pathetic.
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