FBR board approves establishment of ‘tax policy unit’ under Finance Division

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue’s Policy Board has given a go-ahead to the establishment of a ‘Tax Policy Unit’ under the administrative control of the Finance Division.

The meeting of the FBR Policy Board was held under the chair of Federal Finance and Revenue Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Thursday.

According to the finance ministry, the tax department had made a presentation regarding the establishment of a tax policy unit in accordance with the cabinet decision dated 29 November 2018. The briefing highlighted the advantages of keeping the tax policy function independent of administrative functions. 

After due deliberations, the chair accorded approval for the establishment of the policy unit under the administrative control of the Finance Division.

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According to details, the new setup, consisting of FBR members as well as fiscal and economic experts from academia, think tanks and the private sector, would present holistic proposals to mobilise revenue generation with greater autonomy.

The tax policy unit would also work out policy recommendations for domestic tax collection on the lines of the National Tariff Commission, which operates under the Ministry of Commerce.

Meanwhile, FBR’s Technical Committee apprised the policy board of measures taken to identify anomalies and simplify the taxation system for a better understanding of the business community.

The FBR was requested to include senior representatives from the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Industries & Production for better coordination and effective policymaking in this regard.

Furthermore, the Complaint Oversight Committee (COC) chairman briefed the policy board on the workings of a newly developed complaint portal which was currently running on a trial basis. 

The complaint resolution system has been designed to facilitate businessmen, traders, small & medium enterprises (SMEs) and large taxpayers, where all complaints can be filed in one place, officials said. 

The chair directed the officials to disseminate relevant information about the working of the complaint registration mechanism and ensure that contact details were readily available for public consumption. 

The finance minister further directed FBR to expedite the process of income tax refunds of less than Rs50 million to uphold the government commitment’s of taxpayers’ facilitation.

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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