Govt likely to tax E-Commerce sector

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The government is likely to consider taxing the e-commerce sector in an attempt to raise more revenue, media sources have reported. The proposal will be drafted by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to be presented in the upcoming budget (2017-18).

In view of the critical importance of making a tax proposal,  a Tax Policy Conference in FBR is due to be held on 16th March, 2017. The budget proposals will be discussed at the conference which will be held on 16th March at the FBR headquarters.

The e-commerce covers a wide range of activities including business activities taking place through internet, online shopping, online trade and other electronic transactions through internet etc.

A successful and comprehensive tax policy draft calls for the  business community to draw a link between the business activity, its profits  and the corresponding income or consumption taxes. Any rules and regulations concerning taxes that are not understood by the businessmen or the taxpayers should be avoided.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has directed the Chief Commissioners of Large Taxpayer Units (LTUs) and Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) that budget proposals should be drafted keeping in view current economic practices.

The FBR is directed to request that the concerned chief commissioner or a focal person/persons nominated by her/him fully conversant with the budget proposals prepared by the respective RTO/LTU may kindly participate in the Tax Policy Conference in respect of budget proposals for 2017-18 scheduled to be held on Thursday, 16th March, 2017 at FBR (HQ) Islamabad.The special assistant to the Prime Minister will be heading the meeting.

The chief commissioner as well as the nominated focal people are required to make a small presentation on the main budgetary proposals at the Tax Policy Conference. The proposals must be aimed at removing hindrances, enhancing economic growth and revenues.

The FBR is required to enhance taxation in general through:

  • broadening of tax base;
  • measures for improvement in the tax to GDP ratio;
  • rationalisation/analysis of tax exemptions;
  • withholding taxes and their application for economic development in the country
  • taxation of e-commerce