RAWALPINDI    -   The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has asked Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Finance Ministry to provide relief in the upcoming federal budget 2019-20.

RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem said in a statement that government must introduce an amnesty scheme for filers and taxpayers similar to the assets declaration scheme for the non-filers. At least, filers must be exempted from tax audits for the next two to three years, he suggested. The taxpayers are maintaining their documentations and being regular income tax filers must be given super relief in the budget, he added.

RCCI president said that the Chamber already had submitted a set of proposals with FBR for consideration and incorporation in the federal budget 2019-20, stating that these proposals would help increase economic activity, incentives for manufacturing and SMEs and widen the tax net thereby increasing the government revenue.

Key proposals in the category of income tax relate to broadening the tax base; it was suggested that discretionary powers of inland department should be restricted.

Government should take additional measures to incentivize exports and taking other measures to ease the cost of doing business and improving the overall regulatory regime to facilitate exporters, he added.

Tax holidays may be introduced for new business ventures for at least first five years from the date of incorporation for those taxpayers who incorporate their businesses as LLP/ Companies.

In case of small companies, the rate of income tax may be reduced from current 25% to 20%. Small companies should be exempted from being withholding agent to deduct taxes and file statements.

A single online integrated Sales Tax Returns filing procedure may be introduced for Federal and Provincial Sales Tax declaration instead of current separate filing requirements for federal and each province.

Corporate tax to be brought down to 25%, currently it stands at 31 %. Pakistan’s corporate tax rate is third highest in world.

RCCI president suggested that there is a need to address the key issue of massive under-invoicing/dumping of imported product. Import value is fixed in consultation with industry.