FBR seeks cabinet approval to tax illegal mobile phones

As per the envisaged plan, the FBR has determined a plan to levy a tax on all those smuggled phones which are presently inactive and are stocked in shops as unsold

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ISLAMABAD: The tax regulator is set to seek go-ahead from the cabinet to legitimize smuggled inactive mobile phones on a payment of duty, a senior tax official said on Thursday.

According to the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) projections, the import of smuggled phones in the market contribute to heavy revenue losses to the public exchequer, reports Dawn.

The official who declined to be named said that they will submit a summary in the next cabinet meeting.

As per the envisaged plan, the FBR has determined a plan to levy a tax on all those smuggled phones which are presently inactive and are stocked in shops as unsold.

The official shared a cut-off date between 1 to 1.5 months will be proclaimed for owners of such devices and avail the scheme to legalize it.

However, if the deadline passed all these phones on which duties aren’t paid at the nearest customs point will become useless, said the official.

Furthermore, those phones which are either smuggled before the deadline or after that won’t be considered for activation.

Those phone sets in use presently, legally imported or smuggled will be exempted from the payment of duty.

Likewise, the payment of duty on smuggled phones will be contingent on the category they end up being classified in.

In FY18, the country’s legal imports of mobile phones touched $847.656 million and previously the imports had surpassed $1 billion when there was no duty under the free-trade agreement with China or very little applicable duty from other nations.

And recently the government has changed the duty structure and levied regulatory duty on imports of mobile phones, which has resulted in a decline of legal imports largely due to an increase in smuggling of mobile phones.

 

 

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