ISLAMABAD           -        Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President on Monday Muhammad Ahmed Waheed has called upon the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to allow business community to adjust their payable taxes against their refunds claims. It would greatly facilitate them in overcoming liquidity issues and promoting business activities.

He said billions of rupees of business community were held up with FBR in the form of refunds claims of sales tax, income tax and duty drawbacks and allowing adjustment of payable taxes including customs duties and sales tax against refunds claims would be a win-win arrangement, both for the government and for the business community.

He said it would address the liquidity issues of businessmen and save the funds of government allocated for payment of refunds, said a press release issued by ICCI here on Monday.  ICCI President said allowing adjustment of payable taxes against refunds would also help businesses in improving inventories and promoting exports.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said FBR was reportedly preparing to start the payment of income tax refunds directly to the bank accounts of those taxpayers who have provided their IBAN, which was appreciable as these refunds were held up with FBR since 2014.

However, he said allowing businesses to adjust their payable taxes against these refunds would be a win-win situation for both sides. ICCI President said finance division has reportedly released an amount of Rs10 billion to FBR for payment of income tax refunds while FBR was issuing cumulative refunds of up to Rs5 million. However, he stressed that Ministry of Finance should release more funds to FBR to clear maximum income tax refunds that would improve the liquidity position of businesses and enable them to play better role in the economic revival of the country.

He said under the Prime Minister’s relief package, an amount of Rs100 billion was allocated for the payment of refund claims under sales tax, income tax and duty drawback to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on businesses. Therefore, he said FBR should remove the ceiling of paying up to Rs5 million as income tax refunds and pay more refunds or allow businessmen adjustment of their payable taxes against refunds claims that would lessen the liquidity issues of business community and help them come out of the difficult times to revive the business activities in the country.