ICCI Voluntary tax compliance should be encouraged to achieve revenue target: Chief Commissioner RTO

Islamabad: Small traders need to be educated on efiling of returns that would encourage voluntary compliance as well as control the growing cost of compliance.

Mr.Muhammad Riaz, Chief Commissioner-Inland Revenue, RTO Islamabad made these remarks during a meeting with Mr.Zafar Bakhtawari, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry ICCI.

Ms.Sheher Bano Walajahi, Commissioner-IR, Mr.Ali Hasnain, Commissioner-IR, Mr.Waseen Altaf, Add.Commissioner-IR, Mr.Adnan Inam Ullah, Add.Commissioner-IR and Mr. Amir Javaid, Deputy Commissioner IR were also present on the occasion.

He said that procedures have been streamlined by computerized records and efilings. Chief Commissioner RTO said that small taxpayers unaware about the legal and technical terms of the tax levied and its related rules and procedures, therefore many programs are being initiated for educating small and medium taxpayers about the basics of taxation laws.

He added that they are always willing to facilitate business community especially small traders.

Mr.Muhammad Riaz said that regular interaction through monthly meetings with representatives of business community for seeking their cooperation and suggestions would definitely improve the tax culture in our country.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI said that tax collection has significantly increased from Rs.404billion in year 2002 to around Rs.1900billion in year 2012 but unfortunately businessmen were always blamed that they were not paying their due taxes.

Mr.Bakhtawari was of the view that friendly tax laws and reduction in high tax rates are need of the hour and furthermore, giving attractive incentives to high taxpayers to recognize their tax contribution could help in improving tax compliance in Pakistan.

ICCI President said that Contribution of income tax including salaried class is 38% while custom duties, sales tax and central exercise duties contributed 11%, 44% and 4% respectively.

He said that by ensuring the transparency in tax system tax culture could be improved in Pakistan.

Chairman Tax Committee ICCI, Mian Ramzan added that ICCI has been doing significant efforts to educate its members about tax compliances and regularly keeping its members regarding changes in tax laws and compliance procedures.

He added that regular interaction of Tax Officials with business community and conducting tax awareness programs would definitely improve tax culture and he assured that he will keep close liaison with the department for regular meetings at ICCI and RTO to achieve national objectives specially broadening of tax base is a serious issue which should be focused instead of spending energies/resources on existing on existing taxpayers.