ISLAMABAD   - The first payment through FASTER module, against the refund claims for the tax period July 2019, has been made on 2nd September, 2019, and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has confirmed the credit of the refund amount in the bank account of the claimant.

It is highlighted that only 9 refund claims of five exporter-oriented sectors were received by Friday, the 30th August, 2019, and the payment has been made against the claim that was cleared by the risk management system of FASTER module. It is added that the number of refund claims received is not significant. FBR encourages the exporters to submit their claims in form Annex-H at the earliest so that their claims can be processed and paid.

In consequence of rescission of SRO 1125(I)/2011 dated 31.12.2011, which allowed zero-rating of inputs of five export-oriented sectors, Federal Board of Revenue had committed with the exporters of the said sectors, i.e. textiles, leather, carpets, sports goods and surgical goods, that refunds shall be paid to them within 72 hours of filing of refund claim. FBR has earlier clarified that submission of Annex-H, which is a form in the monthly sales tax return, shall be treated as submission of refund claim. For this purpose, FBR has developed a new IT module known as FASTER (Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund) and the same has been operationalised. This module shall process claims of exporters of five export-oriented sectors for the tax period July, 2019, and onwards.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr.Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that government has taken an important decision on Tax Refunds for the promotion of economic activity in the country and to provide liquidity support to businesses. He further said that Rs22 billion of verified sales tax refunds for all years to be released immediately. As many as Rs1.7 billion of income tax refunds for all years to be released immediately. The verification process for other outstanding refunds to be expedited. Income tax refunds between Rs1 billion to Rs5 billion for all years will be paid next month, Shaikh said on his social media account.

It is worth mentioning here the FBR last week had claimed that it will now pay sales tax refunds through the newly installed Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (FASTER) system to exporters of five sectors within 72 hours of submission of refund claims.