The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) may continue go-slow policy for gradual implementation of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) condition of the un-registered buyers till January 1, 2020. Sources said that the FBR may continue existing go-slow policy for implementing the CNICs condition fully till January 1, 2020 in view of existing situation where both FBR and traders are at loggerheads over the condition and the latter demanding its complete abolition.
The FBR officials have not clearly informed about the exact status of CNIC condition after September 30, but hinted that there is a possibility that the FBR may not enforce full-fledged implementation of the CNIC condition on purchases above Rs 50,000 during the second quarter (Oct-Dec) of current fiscal period.
The FBR may fully enforce the CNIC condition with effect from January 1, 2020, they added. The relaxation given to the business community by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for taking no adverse action under the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 and Sales Tax Act, 1990 against traders on the basis of information emanating from providing of computerized national identity card numbers (CNICs) would expire tonight (September 30).
The FBR officials told Business Recorder that the government has taken a key documentation measure by imposing the condition of providing CNIC on supplies to unregistered persons through the Finance Act 2019. The condition has not been withdrawn, amended or deferred/suspended till September 30. If the government wants documentation, the CNIC condition needs to remain intact in the law.
However, the FBR will not take any adverse action against traders in relation to the condition of provision of CNIC numbers till September 30. The condition of the CNIC as per Finance Act 2019 would remain intact but no adverse action would be taken against the traders till September 30.
They said that only the Parliament can withdraw the provision of the CNIC which is part of the Finance Act 2019. If the Parliament amends the Finance Act 2019, the condition of the CNIC would be withdrawn. A tax expert said that the FBR may extend period for not taking adverse action against businessmen who wold not provide CNCIs of the un-registered buyers. Even if FBR does not officially announce extension in October, it can continue policy for not taking adverse action against traders for another one month or two, he said.
Practically, the traders and other businesses have refused to provide CNICs of their un-registered buyers, which may result in another extension for not taking adverse action against traders, the tax expert added. Traders had announced to start protests from October 7 against the condition of computerized national identity cards (CNIC) numbers of unregistered buyers. Different chambers and trade association have already requested the FBR to defer the said condition of the CNIC and implement the same in phase-wise manner.
The FBR press release issued on August 8 said, "Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Shabbar Zaidi held a meeting with all groups of traders of Pakistan on August 8, 2019 at FBR and discussed various issues about the traders. It has, inter alia, been agreed with consensus that no adverse action under the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 and Sales Tax Act, 1990 will be undertaken against the traders merely on the basis of information emanating from provision of CNIC under the Sales Tax Act, 1990 as required under the Finance Act, 2019 for traders till September 30, 2019."