If it does not fail my memory, the FBR has never come up with any incentives or benefit scheme for registered tax payers in Pakistan. Like so many salaried people, I have recently retired, after having paid taxes for over forty years and received pensionable emoluments, which by law are exempted from tax. As is the practice, salaried people invest funds from pensionable emoluments in National Saving Centre schemes and in various saving schemes offered by different banks. They pay withholding taxes on all such schemes, other than Pensioner Benefit Fund or Bahbood Fund. However, according to Income Tax Lawyer, the recently announced Income Support Levy (ISL) will also be applicable on pension emoluments, invested in approved saving schemes. To make matters worse, the ISL will be applicable on already consumed profits earned during preceding financial year ending June 30, 2013.
This makes a mockery of tax exempted Pension Emoluments and will only add to woes of hundreds of thousands of pensioners who can hardly meet their expenses given the massive inflation and rupee devaluation. In sharp contrast the elected PML-N government has absolved retail traders of mandatory requirements for NIC, NTN and residential business address declaration apart from giving them preferential and discriminatory benefits on Sales Tax, in violation of Constitution.
It is an established fact that Documented Economy suffers, whenever black undocumented economy is encouraged and patronized by the state. Every civilized country in the world, gives benefits to tax payers and pensioners, while in Pakistan they are being literally punished, as if they have committed a grave sin by paying their taxes and becoming part of documented economy.
MALIK TARIQ,
Lahore, September 29.