Single registration number for IT, ST, FE, customs duties soon

Federal Board of Revenue

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has plans to introduce single registration number for income tax, sales tax, federal excise and customs duties and there is a possibility of issuance of smart cards to taxpayers for their transactions within five months time.

FBR Chairman Arshad Ali also hinted at reduction in tax rates and said that these rates need to be brought at a level where everybody is willingly come forward and pay due share of taxes. Major contributor in revenues should be the corporate tax with expanded base.This was informed by Ali on Tuesday to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, which met at the Parliament House with MNA Khawaja Sohail Mansoor in the chair. He said that the target of documentation could be achieved through common registration number for all taxes and based on National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) data and FBR information.

FBR intends to issue smart cards containing single registration number for all taxes and this would be done upon completion of automation of the FBR. He informed the members of the committee that he does not believe in cosmetic surgery as was done in the past. FBR needs major reforms to achieve the revenue targets for national development.He said that transactions are being done on different registration numbers in almost all the taxes and it’s difficult to catch the entire transactions of one company or individual at this point of time. He admitted that around the world in each country the noose is tightened around tax evaders and in Pakistan they are at their liberty.

He informed that some parts of the economy are documented and some are still left, we need to complete the task of documentation to be a success story. He admitted that not realising true potential of tax in the country is a failure of the FBR, however, we have to start from somewhere to move in the right direction.He said that revenue mobilisation is not in accordance with the flow of economy in the country, as the tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is 9.2 percent of the GDP known as lowest.When pointed out by the members of the committee that why isn’t the FBR taking suo muto action on two political leaders levelling allegations against each other of tax evasion, the FBR chairman smiled and said that these powers rest somewhere else.

He was surprised that Rs 50 billion income tax is being paid by the individuals and majority of such taxpayers are salaried persons. After knowing this, the members of the committee inquired the FBR chief that why doesn’t FBR totally eliminate the income tax.The FBR chairman informed the members that donor countries question us that what your taxpayer is contributing to the national kitty and how much aid are we asking from them. Make sure if it is not more but it should be equal contribution from them at the time of the need of the country.He said that in many countries there are 25 businesses and only one auditor and in Pakistan for one business there are 25 auditors or departments that audit its different aspects of business.

He informed that his goal is to promote corporatisation in the country and wants to double the balance sheets of the companies, for example from Rs 4 billion now to Rs 8 billion after five years. If we are able to improve the balance sheets of the companies, there are 30,000 active companies in Pakistan and their prosperity could create more jobs and more revenues for the country. People should be allowed to work and everyone should be allowed to make money with fair means, as nothing could be gained through witch hunting. – Dailytimes