The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is set to launch the Single Sales Tax Return Filing portal on Tuesday (tomorrow), pursuant to one of the World Bank’s requirements for releasing a $400 million loan.
According to an official document, the sales tax registered persons will be able to file single tax returns instead of having to file separate returns to the tax machinery with respective provincial sales tax authorities. The sales tax return for the tax period of December 2021 (to be filed in January 2022) will be filed through the Single Sales Tax Portal/Return from tomorrow onwards.
The Single Sales Tax Return portal aims to make it easier for taxpayers to file a single monthly sales tax return rather than several returns (six) on different portals, which will save time and money. Tax collectors would benefit from the gateway since it would provide them with a panoramic view of a taxpayer’s business operations across the country, therefore enabling them to maximize revenue potential and tax compliance.
The new portal is expected to save time and effort besides simplifying the return filing process. FBR claims that the portal will minimize data entry and address related data and calculation issues on a timely basis. The system will apportion input tax adjustment as well as tax payments across the sales tax authorities, thus eliminating the need for reconciliation and payment transfers.
Currently, there are six tax authorities operating in the country, each of which receives sales tax returns individually. Among them are the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA), Sindh Revenue Board (SRB), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority (KPRA), Balochistan Revenue Authority (BRA), and the Council Board of Revenue of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
It should be noted that fundamentally, the deployment of the aforesaid Single Sales Tax Return portal is one of the conditions set by the World Bank for releasing a $400 million loan under the Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy program (RISE-II).
Other conditions were that harmonized GST legislation for goods and services as well as consistent property value rates be applied across the country, all of which have yet to be enforced.