ISLAMABAD: The business community in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry expressed concerns over the complicated e-filing system of tax returns and called upon the Federal Board of Revenue to simplify it in order to make it more user-friendly and easier for taxpayers.
Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry addressing the meeting said that the business community supports the documented economy and wants to pay tax because no economy could develop without tax revenue. However, keeping in view the educational background and computer literacy of majority of business community and other taxpayers, the prevailing e-filing system needs to be further simplified as it requires considerable time and effort to provide all the required details.
He said the system is particularly difficult for small traders who are not well computer literate and they have to hire the services of experts for preparing and e-filing of their tax returns due to which it imposes extra cost on them. He said the system is also not easily understandable to many taxpayers. Moreover, during rush hours, FBR Portal sometimes goes down due to which the taxpayers face problems in opening tax forms and submitting online tax returns. He stressed that FBR should look into these issues to remove its complications.
ICCI President said FBR should arrange more consultative process and launch massive awareness campaigns to educate the maximum number of taxpayers about the system. He said FBR also consider rolling -out the system step by step instead of implementing it in one go as it would facilitate the taxpayers.
Muzzamil Sabri said due to its complicated nature, the current e-filing system also creates hurdles in broadening the tax net and proves costly as for the tax department also because tax officials have to spend lot of time and effort in auditing the detailed tax returns. He was of the view that a simplified and user-friendly e-filing system would reduce costs significantly both for taxpayers and the tax department and would lead to expansion in tax base & tax revenue for the country. Therefore, government should make utmost efforts to remove all unnecessary requirements from e-filing system and make it simple & easier for taxpayers to promote the formal economy.