KP property retailers announce strike against increase in taxes

Property dealers flat-out refuse to accept new taxes, demand revision

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Property Retailers Association (KPPRA) has announced nationwide strike on Friday, December 10, against the increase in the tax on the sale and purchase of property as well as the increase in property tax on both residential and commercial plots by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Retailers of DHA and Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) have also announced to join the protest.
Addressing a joint press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday, officials of the association termed the increase in property tax a “cruel” step and demanded the government to immediately withdraw the decision.
Siraj-ul-Haq, patron of the association, said that the increase in taxes will affect millions of people involved in property business across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “Valuation of properties in KP’s major cities is out of context and not based on actual estimates,” Haq added.
DHA Retailer Association President Abid Ali lamented that FBR had not taken all stakeholders into confidence before imposing the new taxes. He said that the government is increasing taxes instead of providing relief to the province which has been affected by decades of militancy.
He said that property taxes in the province have been jacked up by 350 per cent to 700pc.
“Our province has already been affected by terrorism and economic backwardness. This step will further increased unemployment in KP,” Ali said, adding that the real estate community “will never accept the FBR’s oppressive taxes and policies.”
“The increase in tax rates will not only result in a reduction in property transfer or tax collection but will also permanently disrupt the market,” he further added.
Property dealers have demanded that the tax rates be revised and issued as per their recommendations or else they will be forced to protest.
Earlier in the day, they had staged a protest rally outside the Peshawar Press Club and chanted slogans against the FBR and federal government.
Meanwhile, the FBR on Tuesday held in abeyance the recently notified valuation rules to allow registration of the in-process transactions till January 16, 2022.

A handout issued by the tax department on Tuesday states that taking cognizance of a number of complaints from across the country received from various stakeholders including real estate agents and town developers about an extraordinary rise in property rates resulting from the recently notified property valuation, FBR has issued detailed instructions through an Office Memorandum (OM) on the procedure to be adopted to review the anomalies in the property rates and rationalise the same.

Accordingly, it has been decided to review and revisit the notified valuation tables wherever overvaluation or undervaluation is pointed out by a stakeholder.

Revaluations shall be re-notified on January 15 and shall come into force on January 16.

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