LAHROE - The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran, representatives of over 5 million wholesalers and retailers in the country, has announced to play its role for documentation of the economy, as the finance ministry and FBR in recent meeting with trade bodies have accepted all demands of traders, besides reducing withholding tax on banking transactions to 0.3 percent.

The government has agreed with the demand of traders to abolish present income tax system for traders, implementing turnover tax for them to the maximum ratio of 0.25 per cent, said APAT general secrtary Naeem Mir, who was also part of negotiation with the govt.

The turnover tax would be agreed according to various trades and sectors between trade bodies and FBR. Moreover, the FBR and business community shall hold in-depth and meaningful parleys to resolve the issues related to the filing of returns.

Under the agreement, the turnover tax, currently at 1 per cent, has been agreed to be reduced according to various trades and sectors. This is the major concession.

In certain cases, the traders turnover is in billions of rupees but their profits are in hundreds of thousands rupees, Naeem Mir said. He said now a realistic profit margin of the wholesalers and traders would be determined, which would address the concerns of the traders community.

He said that the business community was satisfied with the outcome of the talks, appealing to all traders and industrialists to now file the income tax returns and become honourable citizens of the country.

He said if the FBR and Finance Ministry continued its positive approach towards the business community, no businessman would be a non-filer in the country.

“The traders also demanded to bring them in zero-rated regime, deducting their tax through importers or manufacturers. Our assets should be declared as white without any payment of surcharge, including our whole money, cash, all stock of goods and undeclared bank accounts.”

Al the businessmen who were non-filers would become filers in the next three months. From October 1, the ordinance would lapse and the government would again start charging 0.6 percent tax on all the banking instruments traded by the non-filers. It was also decided that 0.3 percent WHT is adjustable for filers up to 30.9.2015.

The traders are ready to join hands with the FBR to enhance tax net, playing their role to unearth new taxpayers, but the tax department should also consult the real stakeholders before formulating national tax policy.

The FBR also needs to improve liaison with trade bodies by setting up joint action committees at regional level to remove existing irritants and work out mechanism to increase the revenue pie, he said. The traders will support the tax department awareness drive to pay tax in national interest.

“The traders will support the tax department awareness drive to pay tax in national interest. The government only needs to make tax system simple and easy and traders will always stand along with it for improving taxation system. All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran is representatives of taxpayers or those traders who want to pay tax. We are not representing mafias, tax evaders or those smugglers who are damaging national economy.”

We suggest the FBR to launch a campaign with the help of trade bodies all over the country to convince retailers as well as wholesalers to come into tax net and consider paying tax as a national obligation.

The real problem is that high officials of the FBR are not ready to consult the real stakeholders to enhance tax net.