Filing of income tax returns touched 0.58m by end of October

Sales tax refunds disbursements for July-October period stood at Rs40b, although over Rs200b refunds remain outstanding

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue suffered a setback as number of income tax filers has registered a fall of less than half to touch 0.58m returns by end of October compared to 1.21m in same period last year (SPLY).

Data available revealed that only 580,000 companies and individuals have filed their tax returns as tax collection for July-October period fell short by Rs40b as of Tuesday evening.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had declared broadening tax base as a cornerstone of his governments policy, but the number of filers stood at 580,000 till October 31st, 2017, reported a local newspaper.

The deadline for filing tax returns has now been extended to November 15th for individuals, association of persons and companies. Around 4.3m people are holders of National Tax Number (NTN) and FBR has failed to act on them who failed to file their returns.

Different tiers have been set for withholding tax rates and sales tax rate, for filers and non-filers of tax returns. Withholding taxes cover a broad scope of transactions which stand around 71 and FBR has targeted it as an easy source of earnings for them.

Also, FBR is collection revenue from indirect taxes which constitutes 92.4pc of total collection. Around 690 companies were said to have filed tax returns and the reasoning for this is said that most of them have their financial year end as 31st December.

Association of persons (AOPs) tax returns filed for year 2017 stood at 21,000 compared to 79,800 in SPLY.

FBR’s provisional collection figure stood at Rs1.030t for July-October 2017 against target of Rs1.070t. Revenue collection went up by 18.6pc or Rs158b compared to SPLY.

Also, the tax watchdog directed State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to disburse Rs12.5b in tax refunds against 3,261 payment orders issued till end of August.

Sales tax refunds disbursements for July-October period stood at Rs40b, although over Rs200b refunds remain outstanding.