‘WHT on cash withdrawal to be abolished for tax filers’

  • State Minister Hammad Azhar had assured KCCI of restoring final tax regime for commercial importers under the upcoming finance bill

KARACHI: State Minister for Revenue Hammad Azhar has assured the business community that withholding tax (WHT) on cash withdrawal from bank accounts will be abolished for tax filers in order to encourage the ease of doing business.

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) Acting President Khurram Shahzad, while sharing details of an earlier meeting held in Islamabad between the state minister and KCCI delegation, said the chamber’s recommendations for the forthcoming finance bill, which would be announced on Jan 23, were extensively discussed during the meeting.

“Hammad Azhar assured the delegation, which also included Businessman Group Vice Chairman and former KCCI president Zubair Motiwala, that the government would incorporate relevant suggestions in the bill,” he added.

The delegation had extensively discussed problems being faced by the business and industrial community, he said, adding that the government assured KCCI of restoring final tax regime (FTR) for commercial importers under the upcoming finance bill.

“It was also agreed on the occasion that there was a need to withdraw sales tax and WHT on the sale of used/second-hand capital goods/textile machinery to facilitate manufacturers/local traders,” he informed.

The acting KCCI president said that the state minister further agreed to withdraw notices of mandatory audits under section 214D for late filers of returns. It was agreed that the powers under sections 37, 37A, 37B, 38, 40, 40B of the Sales Tax Act would only be exercised after prior approval from a Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) member or above, he added.

“Any such actions will be conducted in the presence of a relevant chamber /association representative,” he mentioned.

The ceiling for the association of persons (AOPs) and individuals to be treated as withholding agents will be enhanced to an amount of turnover exceeding Rs200 million, said the KCCI official, adding that status of individuals having turnover below Rs200 million would be restored prior to the status of 2013.

The acting KCCI president said that all the proposals given by the chamber were in the overall interest of the economy, as it would remove distortions in tax regime, enhance the ease of doing business and increase the revenues.

He hoped that the proposals would be implemented as agreed by the ministry.

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