LAHORE: Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme (VTCS) is a golden chance to come into tax net. This is a business friendly initiative of the government and all circles should adopt “first understand and then react” policy.
This was upshot of the speeches delivered at an awareness seminar on “Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme” organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). LCCI former vice president Kashif Anwar, who has the expertise on the scheme, was the chief guest while the LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed, Executive Committee Members Kamal Mahmood Amjad Mian, Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, representatives of trade and industrial associations and business community took part in a proactive awareness session.
LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that scheme has been launched after a long discussion and consultation with the stakeholders. It would bring the huge capital in circulation that is a must for industrial extension, to generate new employment opportunities and to boost trade and economic activities.
He said that VTCS is a giant leap towards expansion of tax net. He said that Pakistan needs resources for health, education and infrastructure projects and it is possible only through bringing untaxed sectors into the tax net. Nasir Saeed said that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and MNA Pervez Malik deserve appreciation for being bridge between the private sector and the government.
Former vice president Kashif Anwar said that scheme is not compulsory, it is voluntary and if any trader does not want to avail, he could file normal return. This is for individuals, Association of Persons (AOPs) and wholesaler or dealer who is not registered before availing the benefit of VTCS. He said that this is for genuine businessmen who could not declare their capital because of any reason. They can declare now without any problem. He said that this is not for manufacturers, importers, sales tax registered persons either trader individual or AOP, dealer, distributor or wholesaler and sectors in services industry. He said this is working capital whitening scheme and not assets whitening scheme. For assets one must have a source to declare voluntarily in Wealth statement. He said that one cannot purchase asset or property from this working capital, no withholding tax adjustment or tax credits against tax payable for tax year 2015 to 2018. He said that VTCS gives facility to take benefit of imputable income in wealth or accounts on the basis of tax paid during tax years 2016 to 2018.
While throwing light on the benefits VTCS, he said that after availing this scheme, one must be a respectable registered tax payer instead of filer and not a tax thief. He said that there will be a simplified one page income tax return as per our demand. He said that beneficiary would not be registered in sales tax if he qualifies under rule 6 of Chapter II of Sales tax special procedure rules where sales tax is collected on electricity bills and other conditions, would not submit previous returns, would receive no notice, would not prepare wealth statement for tax years 2015-2018 etc.
Meanwhile, LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed said that VTCS is one of the tax reforms which was a longstanding demand of the LCCI. They said that there is a dire need to deeply understand this scheme as because of literacy rate, a large part of the business community is not able to understand it. The LCCI office-bearers urged the government to launch an awareness campaign in this regard in collaboration with the chambers and other trade bodies to make this initiative meaningful for the economy.
They said that purpose of VTCS was to give awareness and know-how to the business doing people. Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should also take such initiatives in consultation with the stakeholders.