Karachi: President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, while referring to a series of meetings held during the past three weeks between KCCI and the decision makers in Islamabad to resolve withholding tax and other issues, stated that leadership of Businessmen Group and KCCI Office Bearers have been regularly visiting Islamabad to discuss these pressing issues in order to come up with a feasible solution.
In a statement issued, President KCCI said that the Karachi Chamber has proposed a package for resolving tax-related issues wherein KCCI suggested that non-filers should be asked to submit their returns along with payment of Rs20,000/- income tax which should be raised by 25 percent every year. Acceptance and implementation of this proposal will result in exemption of withholding tax on bank transactions along with three years of audit immunity.
He said that KCCI further asked the FBR not to carry out any Income Tax Audit while the income tax returns should be accepted without further questioning about the business capital and turnover to a certain extent while this facility should also be extended to the existing taxpayers.
KCCI further proposed to immune commercial importers from Sales Tax Audit as they are already paying 17 percent General Sales Tax (GST) along with 3 percent sales tax on value-addition, he added.
Iftikhar Vohra assured that the Karachi Chamber has been actively raising voice towards resolving numerous issues being faced by the existing taxpayers due to harsh taxation policies.
In order to encourage maximum number of people to pay their taxes and file returns, President KCCI said that FBR must create an enabling environment by improving its attitude towards taxpayers who usually face immense hardships and even harassment which was the key reason for limited tax base of the country. Keeping in view the hardships being faced by existing taxpayers, non-taxpayers prefer staying away from the FBR, he added.
Iftikhar Vohra was fairly optimistic that if the government gives consideration to proposed package, it will not only help in minimizing the problems being faced by taxpayers but will also improve FBR’s revenue collection.
He reiterated that FBR must improve its attitude and create a conducive environment in which taxpayers should be assisted and facilitated. He advised the non-filers to file their returns with a view to save themselves from withholding tax. “It is the responsibility of every citizen to pay taxes. KCCI is striving hard to bring non-filers and FBR on one page for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan’s economy”, he added.