The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to stop releasing the weekly active taxpayers list (ATL). There will be no such list from March 1 because of a change in the legislation.
The board started the practice of issuing the list every week from August 2015 to facilitate the taxpayers who want to file the tax returns after the due date.
However, in a recent decision, the FBR has withdrawn this facility to make it clear that the returns have to be filed on time. Any delay in filing returns can result in withdrawal of tax concessions.
The inclusion in ATL means a lower rate for withholding tax and other tax benefits for the taxpayers. Notably, the Finance Act 2018 included an amendment (a section 182A) into the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.
According to this amendment, if a person fails to file the income tax return on time, his/her name will not make it to the ATL for that year.
The FBR maintained that the provisions shall apply from the tax year 2018 and onward. The first ATL under the new policy is going to be issued on March 1.
Therefore, the names of taxpayers who filed the tax returns by the due date Dec. 15, 2018 (non-corporate) and Dec. 31, 2018 (corporate) will appear on the new ATL for the tax year 2018.
However, Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has asked the government to revoke the amendment, as it would negatively impact the broadening of the tax base.