ISLAMABAD            -         Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Muhammad Javed Ghani on Saturday said he would try to address the tax related issues of business community so that they could be facilitated in promoting business activities and strengthening the economy.  He said this while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) that called on him led by ICCI President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed. Accepting the invitation of Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, Javed Ghani said he would visit ICCI for an interaction with the business community to know about their tax issues and get their input for bringing further improvements in the prevailing tax system. He said efforts would be made to evolve a taxation system that could facilitate the growth of economic activities and help in improving tax revenue of the country. He welcomed the suggestions of the delegation members for resolving problems and broadening the tax base. Speaking at the occasion, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed congratulated Muhammad Javed Ghani for assuming the charge of chairman FBR and hoped that he would take measures to address the key tax issues of business community and promote the vision of the prime minister to turn Pakistan into a fast growing economy.  He said the current government has made commitments to streamline the payment of tax refunds, but the process was quite slow due to which the business community was facing liquidity issues.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had created extraordinary challenges for the business community and the overall economy and this situation necessitated that FBR to focus on speedy automation of refunds including customs duty, sales tax and income tax to ensure that all tax refunds were automatically transferred to the bank accounts of the concerned taxpayers. He said another better option to solve the refunds issue was to allow taxpayers to adjust their payable taxes against the accumulated refunds.  This mechanism would not only address the liquidity issues of business community; it would also improve the tax revenue of the government. ICCI President said that under Sec-8B of Sales Tax Act, a registered person was not allowed to adjust input tax in excess of 90 per cent of the output tax for that tax period, which was not justified.  He said taxpayers had to deposit 0.10 per cent of the sales tax amount in cash at the time of depositing sales tax returns and urged that in these tough conditions, FBR should allow 100 per cent adjustment of input tax against the output tax and abolish the condition 0.10 per cent cash payment of the sales tax amount while depositing sales tax returns.

 It would ease the problems of business community and save businesses from financial troubles.

Tahir Abbasi Senior Vice President ICCI, Malik Sohail Hussain Chief Coordinator UBG FPCCI and Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari former Vice President ICCI suggested that taxpayers should be allowed 100 per cent adjustment of input tax as depriving them of 10 per cent input tax was an injustice with them. In current difficult circumstances, they urged FBR for taking maximum relief measures for the business community so that they could feel facilitated in fostering business and economic activities. They were of the view that providing facilitation to business community in tax matters would pave way for early recovery of our economy and steering the country out of current challenges.