LCCI urges FBR to address injustice against business community

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LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to give relief to those taxpayers in audit who cannot file their income tax return within the fixed timeframe due to reasons beyond their control.

In a statement, the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid, Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid and Vice President Zeshan Khalil said that FBR has thrown all those taxpayers in audit who even filed their return just after a day of the given deadline.

The LCCI office-bearers said that business community could not file their tax returns because of inactiveness of IRIS system. They were facing serious problems while working with the FBR online services as their online requests did not go through the online portal and could not be retrieved by the concerned authorities.

They said that keeping in view the ground realities, FBR should give audit exemption to the late-filers of income tax that would convey a good message to the business community.

The LCCI office-bearers further stated that final tax regime (FTR) must be restored for the commercial importers as it abolition has increased the tax burden. They said that commercial importers were treated under final tax regime and they were allowed audit exemption on the payment of 6 per cent withholding tax but in the Federal Budget 2018-19, this regime is replaced with minimum tax. They said that reassessment of raw materials and the opening of audit cases of commercial importers are also proposed in the Federal Budget 2018-19 which are sheer injustice with the commercial importers.

They said that complexities of commercial importers would hit various industrial sectors hard as well because importers are providing important raw materials to various industries.  They said that bringing commercial importers into minimum tax regime will increase the cost of raw material that would jack up the cost of doing production and Pakistani products would be struggling more in the international market.

The LCCI office-bearers urged the Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and FBR Chairman Tariq Mahmood Pasha to restore FTR for the commercial importers in the larger interest of the industry.