FBR asked to follow up on deal with traders

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SOURCEThe Express Tribune
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ISLAMABAD:  Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to aggressively follow up on its agreement with the traders for expanding the tax base.

He has also directed the authority to work optimally to enrol nearly 20,000 points of sale in the country, grant timely and full payment of tax refunds and draw up and pursue a futuristic work plan using modern communication tools to achieve organisational targets and goals.

“Efficient and robust communications with the public and stakeholders should be at the centre of every activity undertaken by the FBR to harness public support for its efforts for broadening the tax base and promoting a tax-compliant culture in the country,” he said during a visit to the FBR House.

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The adviser was given a detailed presentation by FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi and his team on the results of various revenue collection initiatives and reforms, key challenges, public facilitation and confidence-building measures to boost revenue growth and resource mobilisation.

Earlier, the FBR chairman told the adviser that the FBR had registered 16.3% revenue growth by collecting Rs2,083.2 billion, as per provisional figures for July-December 2019, netting Rs292.3 billion more than the revenue collected in the corresponding period of last year.

Similarly, he said more than 2.168 million tax returns had been received by the FBR by December 31, 2019 and at least 600,000 more people were likely to submit their returns by the extended deadline of January 31, 2020.

Zaidi said the FBR had stepped up its focus on taxpayer facilitation and automation of processes and now all interaction of taxpayers with the department, including registration, issuance of certificates, return filing, audit and monitoring had been fully automated.

He said the FBR had released tax refunds worth Rs100 billion for the taxpayers so far this year as against Rs36 billion worth of refunds given last year.

Shaikh appreciated the achievements and asked the officials to redouble their efforts for optimal revenue collection in view of the current economic condition of the country.

The FBR chairman said he had appointed five new complaint commissioners for addressing complaints and by March many of the pending cases would be resolved.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2020.

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