The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is aiming to increase Sales Tax Registrations (STN) by 400,000 in the next three years to boost revenue collection and ensure proper documentation of the economy.
“Around 250,000 people are already in FBR’s sales tax net, however only 41,000 are paying the sales tax, which is very low,” said Member Inland and Revenue (Policy) FBR, Dr. Hamid Ateeq Sarwar at the launching ceremony of the digital app “Tax Assan”. He was accompanied by Member Information Technology (IT), Mehmood Aslam.
Dr. Hamid Ateeq said that the FBR can improve sales tax numbers by ensuring collection from manufacturers and retailers. “We have 100 percent coverage from import sector and the Board has been working on manufacturing and potential retail sector to increase its sales tax base,” he added.
He said the FBR would be focusing on 4000 major stores of different brands, including clothes and shoes, to bring them into the tax net.
Highlighting the main features of the app, Member Inland Revenue and Policy said that it was being introduced for improving the tax system according to the international standards to facilitate the taxpayers, adding that it would have on-the-spot 5 percent payback facility for customers at retail shops.
Through this app, the customers would automatically be informed about the sales tax deduction by FBR, he said, adding that this app would also inform them about registered shops and brands.
The automation process in the FBR has already been started while short, medium and long-term strategies have been improved to expand its outreach to all department including sales tax, income tax, customs duty and federal excise duties for introducing the best international practices in the institutions.
He said the objective is to automate 60 percent of operations of the Board as per international standards, saying that automation was the top priority of the government.
Furthermore, around 100,000 non-filers have been issued notices by different banks to file their taxes.
Replying to a question, he said that FBR has not levied any tax on books, registers, copies and stationery items. He said that people must inform the FBR about retailers selling expensive stationery items.
Tax Assan App
Meanwhile, in his presentation on the Tax Assan app, FBR member IT Mehmood Aslam said the government is trying to facilitate tax-filers by modernizing and simplifying FBR’s system.
“We are working in line with the vision of the government for evolving an integrated automation system to address different complaints,” he added.
He said Tax Assan App would facilitate new tax-filers in registering their applications, after which they would receive their sales tax registration numbers.
He said that after registration for STN, the filers must go through biometric verification with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) within 30 days otherwise STN registration will become inactive after 30 days.