Deadline to file income tax return extended till Oct 31

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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), in exercise of the power conferred under Section 214A of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, has extended the date of filing of income tax returns/statements for the tax year 2019.

According to a notification issued by the revenue board on Monday, “The individuals and associations who failed to file their income tax returns by Sept 30, 2019, are allowed to file their returns by October 31.”

Earlier in the day, Inland Revenue (Policy) Member Dr Hamid Ateeq Sarwar had hinted about extending the deadline for filing of income tax returns. “However, it will be done with stringent conditions,” he had maintained.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Sarwar had expressed disappointment in the rate of tax returns being filed and criticised the public perception “that there will always be an extension” in this deadline.

“There has not been a single instance in the past ten years where the date for filing tax returns has not been extended. But we want to end this perception,” he said, adding that it is not mandatory that an extension is given every time.

“So even if we decide to give an extension, this time it will come with penalties and stringent conditions.”

Dr Ateeq said the FBR is striving hard to beat the tax collection figures of the past year. However, as per the Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) reports, only 265,000 tax returns had been filed until September 28.

On September 28th, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Daroo Khan Achakzai, on behalf of the businessmen as well as tax professionals, had asked the government to extend the tax filing deadline. The following day, PTBA also wrote a letter to FBR Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi, pointing out various problems in the tax filing system and requesting an extension in the deadline.

The letter held FBR responsible for the delay in the uploading of draft return 2019 and notifications regarding tax filing. The unavailability of the excel format for income tax return form was also mentioned as a hurdle for majority of businessmen.

In the previous tax year, FBR received 2.6 million tax returns and for this year it eyes a figure of three million. In terms of tax amounts, the previous year’s collection stood around Rs30 billion.

Dr Ateeq said that a big portion of this tax collection comes in December as corporate filing takes place at that time. “In individual AOP collection, the previous year’s collected amount was Rs4 billion. The FBR is also looking to surpass that.”

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