FBR disbursed Rs175bn tax refunds among exporters

--Member IR Policy says the bureau would achieve the revised tax collection target of Rs3,908bn in FY20

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has disbursed Rs175 billion (with an additional amount of Rs50 billion) tax refunds among exporters during the current fiscal year, Member Inland Revenue Operations Seema Shakeel disclosed on Tuesday.

Accompanied by Member IR Policy Dr Hamid Attique, Seema Shakeel told reporters that the target of tax refunds was Rs125 billion during FY20, but the bureau had paid 73 per cent more than FY19.

Member IR Policy Dr Hamid Attique said that the prices of pulses, edible oil as well as seeds should be brought down to minimum Rs10 as the department had abolished withholding tax on the import of pulses and customs duty on seeds as well as edible oil.

The tax department had also ended the regulatory duty on the import of sugar and wheat so the prices of these items should also go down, he suggested.

Attique said if sugar price reached Rs90 per kg and wheat Rs1,700 per bag locally, the imported sugar and wheat would be cheaper compared to local market rates.

He informed reporters that FBR had also given exemptions to 61 medical and surgical items that led to Rs700 billion worth imports in the last 25 days.

“We have removed 19 branded or companies’ specific items in the amendment notification issued on April 16 as the Ministry of Health had asked to remove these from the SRO,” the FBR member further said.

He said that the bureau would achieve the revised tax collection target of Rs3,908 billion during the current fiscal year, adding the department could have achieved Rs5,200 billion revenue had the coronavirus pandemic not come.

Attique was of the view that the bureau would face tough situation during the first quarter of next fiscal year, but “we will try o achieve the next year tax target of Rs5,100 billion.”

The Member IR Policy said the government had notified an ordinance relating to the construction industry and that the projects started between December 31, 2020 and September 30, 2020 would be benefited from this scheme.

Member Operations Seema Shakeel said to mitigate the impact of the virus outbreak the Prime Minister had approved a relief package of Rs70 billion for refunds related to FBR and Rs30 billion DLTL related to Commerce ministry.

She informed the Custom Duty Drawback processing was earlier manual, but in order to ensure transparency the entire process was made electronically without any human intervention.

Seema further informed that the IBAN of the taxpayers were updated online and refunds were directly credited automatically to the claimant’s bank accounts.

About tax on petroleum products, Attique said FBR could bear Rs15 billion loss if prices of petroleum products fell. “We are facing loss of Rs75 billion during this year if the government announces reduction in prices FBR will deprived of more revenue.”

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