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Traders postpone strike call after talks with FBR chief
TOPSHOT - A Pakistani elderly man sits at a shuttered market during a traders countrywide strike against the prices hike, in Peshawar on July 13, 2019. (Photo by ABDUL MAJEED / AFP)

Traders postpone strike call after talks with FBR chief

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Thursday held out assurances to traders that no action will be taken against them merely on the basis of information emanating from submitting their CNICs until Sept 30.

The traders had announced a shutter down strike after the FBR mandated submission of CNICs during the sale and purchase of goods.

Talking to media, All Pakistan Anjuman Taja­ran’s President Ajmal Baloch said that his association postponed the post-Eid scheduled strike call.

Traders also vehemently opposed the three schemes including simplified tax regime for traders, fixed tax regime for small shopkeepers and issuance of business licences to bring the undocumented sectors under the tax net announced by the FBR on Aug 1.

“We have assured traders that the data compiled on the basis of CNIC used for sale and purchase of goods will not be used against them in the next one and half months”, FBR’s Official Spokesperson Hamid Ateeq told media on Thursday.

He said the board had asked traders to submit their CNIC at the time of purchases and sales until the scheme for traders and fixed token tax for small shopkeepers are finalised.

Markazi Tanzeem Tajiran Pakistan Chairman Kashif Chaudhry after meeting with FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi told Dawn that the shutdown call was taken away while adding that a committee comprising the FBR officials and trade representatives has been constituted to fine-tune the fixed tax scheme by Sept 30 for small traders.

The FBR, in a statement issued after the meeting with the traders, said that it has inter alia been agreed with consensus that no adverse action under the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 and Sales Tax Act 1990 will be undertaken against the traders merely on the basis of information emanating from CNIC as required under the Finance Act 2019 for traders till Sept 30.

In order to finalise the scheme for small shopkeepers, the statement added, the proposed drafts submitted by various trade bodies will be taken into consideration by the FBR.

The government has announced various schemes not only to document the large sector but also to bring them in the tax net.

The proposed simplified tax regime will apply to retailers and wholesalers, who opt to file returns under the non-jurisdictional simplified tax regime, Moreover, the scheme will not require record keeping and will be carried out on receipt minus expenditure basis.

Individuals not registered with the FBR will be registered under the scheme by submitting the registration form on Integrated Risk Information System (Iris) via the FBR website. Each person will electronically file a simplified return of income accompanied with evidence of payment of due tax and simplified wealth statement.

Similarly, FBR notified draft Special Procedures for Payment of Taxes by Small Shopkeepers.

The FBR also issued rules for an automated system of business registration to obtain licences. The registration will be mandatory for all businesses and implemented through respective district administrations.

The FBR notified a simple application form for any person engaged in any business, profession or vocation to apply for issuance of licence.