ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) President Ahmed Hassan Mughal has said that instead of bringing new taxpayers into the tax net, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was milking the existing taxpayers by conducting raids on business premises for more tax revenue, but this approach was creating harassment in business community and damaging the image of the government in private sector as well.
In a statement issued here on Friday, Ahmed Hassan Mughal said that despite assurances from FBR chairman not to raid businesses, the raids were still continuing. He called upon the FBR high-ups to stop such tactics in order to save taxpayers from further troubles.
He said that if there was any genuine complaint against a taxpayer in the federal capital, FBR should take ICCI and concerned market association on board to resolve such issues with mutual efforts. He said there was also a procedure defined in law to deal with complaints against taxpayers.
The ICCI president said conducting sudden raids on business premises, taking record and computers into possession, arresting counter persons and sealing businesses were the measures that were very insulting for the taxpayers who deserved to be treated with due respect. He called upon the government and the finance advisor to issue instructions to FBR to desist from such tactics.
ICCI Senior Vice President Rafat Farid and Vice President Iftikhar Anwar Sethi said that business community was never against tax payment, but they wanted a friendly approach from FBR to expand the tax base in the country. They said that when the non-filers witnessed such coercive measures of FBR against regular taxpayers, they felt more secure by remaining out of tax net instead of feeling any motivation to come into the tax net.
They demanded that FBR chairman should conduct inquiry against such tactics of officials and fines received from taxpayers coercively should be returned to them.
They ICCI SVP and VP further stated that business community was looking for drastic reforms in FBR from the current government to promote tax revenue of the country and never expected such coercive approach against taxpayers. They emphasized that government should look into these issues because such tactics of FBR would discourage tax culture and new investment in the country.