LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federal Board of Revenue have decided to work hand-in-hand to raise tax-to-GDP ratio by educating the masses about the benefits of Prime Minister Tax Incentive Package.
The decision was made at an hour-long meeting between the Large Taxpayer Unit Chief Commissioner Mustafa Ashraf and LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar. Chief Financial Officer of LCCI Nasir Khan was also present in the meeting.
The Chief Commissioner was of the view that an increase in Tax-to-GDP ratio was a prerequisite to economic revival of the country and the package announced by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was a great opportunity for non-filer NTN holders and new taxpayers.
Mustafa Ashraf apprised that the very essence of the Tax incentives was to minimize the size of parallel economy that was growing at jet speed. He said that the data of all the non-filers who are spending luxurious lives has already been collected.
He emphasized that the scheme was not aimed at encouraging the tax evaders but it is for the expansion of tax net and things are moving in right direction. Mr. Mustafa Ashraf informed that no action for audit, default surcharge or penalty will be taken against the filers of returns under the present scheme.
LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar on the occasion urged the Chief Commissioner to extend the date for the tax incentive package as it has come into his knowledge that quite a few businessmen who wanted to avail this opportunity were out of country.
He said that the FBR should launch an active campaign in print and electronic media to create awareness regarding the benefits of this scheme.
While appreciating the FBR role in general and Chief Commissioner Mustafa Ashraf in particular, Kashif Anwar gave a number of proposals to make the scheme a big success. He also stressed the need for simplification of taxation procedures and bringing untaxed sectors into the tax net, downward revision in rate of taxes and cut in number of taxes to put economy back on rails.
LCCI Vice President said that the business community was the backbone of the economy as more than 90% revenue is being generated through trade & industry, therefore, the sector should be given due facilitation. He said that it is very unfortunate that a businessman who is registered with Income Tax is not registered with Sales Tax and he has to complete all the formalities to get registrations with Sales Tax. So, this is a big anomaly that needs to be rectified.
The LCCI Vice President also appreciated FBR for authority given to the Chief Commissioner regarding action under section 122 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 in respect of PM scheme for new filers of tax returns.