LAHORE-President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said the business community is concerned over the FBR decision of tax audit. He said that despite assurance of not conducting tax audit for the next three years, FBR announced 12,553 cases for tax audit. In a Statement issued here on Sunday, the LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmed said that due to COVID-19 pandemic the industry is already in crisis, cash flow is disturbed unemployment is rising and many businessmen are struggling to reopen due to six months of inactivity of businesses. They said in these circumstances the government should postpone the tax audit for one more year, adding this would be very helpful for the business community and taxpayers who are hit hard during the last six months.

LCCI office-bearers said the business community has a long standing demand to reduce the complaints of taxpayers about harassment and corruption, adding that the Federal Board of Revenue should act as a facilitator in the larger interest of the business community, trade & economy. They said that the business community is always demanding the government to control under-invoicing and curb the smuggling besides expanding tax net. They said that there is need to develop a wide-ranging, rational and transparent system for audit and the capacity of the tax auditors should be developed through training.

The LCCI office-bearers said the audit is a requirement but the present time is not appropriate for it as COVID-19 has badly affected the businesses and a huge number of commercial units are still struggling to come back on track.  He said the decision should be put on hold till the economy got back on track. Audit should be restored after consultation with the stakeholders.