FBR receives 2.5m tax returns showing 47pc growth

Businessmen charging sales tax from consumers without being registered with FBR under Sales Tax Act-1990

ISLAMABAD        -          The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has received 2.5million income tax returns for Tax Year 2018, depicting over 47 percent growth in number of filers as compared to 1.7 million returns received last fiscal year. The FBR has received highest ever returns during the tax year 2018. In last one year, around 7,50,000 new people have filed their income tax returns. The FBR had set a target to receive 4 million income tax returns by the end of December, 2019. The government had given several chances to non filers to file their income tax returns by extending the deadlines. The last deadline was expired on Friday.

Meanwhile, Chairman FBR Syed Shabbar Zaidi has sent letters to Managing Directors Sui Northern Gas Company Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited wherein he has requested that consumers not present on Active Tax Payers List under Section 181A of Income Tax Ordinance-2001 may not be provided commercial and industrial gas connenctions. Section 181 AA states that “Notwithstanding anything contained in any law, for the time being in force, any application for commercial or industrial connection, of electricity or gas shall not be processed and such connection, shall not be provided unless the person applying for electricity or gas connection is registered under Section 181.

This provision of law, which contains a ‘non-obstante’ clause overriding other laws for the time being in force mandatorily requires every person who is provided a commercial or industrial gas connection to be on Active Taxpayers List of the FBR. Chairman has stated in the letter that many users of commercial and industrial gas connection do not fall within ATL of the FBR. Chairman has requested that the list of all persons using industrial and commercial gas connections be shared with FBR as soon as possible. Moreover, intimation may be issued by the company to the users of such connections to comply with the aforesaid conditions laid down under the Income Tax law. Chairman has suggested appointing a ‘focal person’ to coordinate with FBR for this purpose.

Federal Board of Revenue has also issued a circular which has stated that general public has reported complaints against the businessmen who are charging sales tax from consumers without being registered with FBR under the Sales Tax Act-1990. It is, therefore, clarified that sales tax registration number (STRN) (thirteen digits) is issued to every person who is registered for sales tax purpose and only that person is authorized to change sales tax on his taxable sales except where goods fall under third schedule to the Sales Tax Act-1990. A business which is not registered for sales tax and does not have an STRN is not authorized to charge sales tax on the invoice.

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