FBR advised making declaration of fund source mandatory for foreign remittances

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been advised to make it mandatory the declaration of source of funds for foreign remittances.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in its tax proposals for budget 2019/2020 recommended changes to Section 111(4) of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 regarding foreign exchange remitted from outside Pakistan.

The association recommended amendment:

“to any amount of foreign exchange remitted from outside Pakistan through normal banking channels that is encashed into rupees by a scheduled bank and a certificate from such bank is produced to that effect … and a declaration along-with evidence of the source of funds.”

It said that this will continue to promote the inflow of foreign exchange remittances towards the country while stopping the misuse of the provision to whiten/launder black monies and de-incentivizing genuine tax paying businesses.

“This way, the ‘non enquiry’ clause which has been extensively abused, will be abolished sans the current monetary limit while still retaining the tax relief for foreign exchange remittance.

The ACCA further said that the minimum tax on turnover is charged irrespective of the net profit or loss.

This often gives rise to a situation where businesses end up paying double taxes on their revenues and profits as well as loss making businesses facing additional cash-flow pressures by paying this tax.

The current rate of 1.25 percent applicable generally except for a few sectors, should be brought down to 0.4 percent.

The now deleted exception in case of a gross loss needs to be reinstated in line with the principles of natural justice and equity.

This will facilitate the business eco-system contributing to a growth in GPD which can lead to increased revenue collections for the treasury.

The association further highlighted Section 138 and 140 of the Ordinance regarding recovery of tax through attachment of bank accounts and/or property or arrest.

It said that currently, the allowance for the commissioner to attach the property of the taxpayer before expiry of notice period on “satisfaction” of the commissioner regarding possible removal, cancellation or disposal of attachable property is misused in many cases to harass the businesses.

This change can bring an end to this, increase taxpayers’ trust in the tax apparatus and improve the ease of doing business in the country.

“Any such attachment of any movable/immovable property before expiry of the notice period may only be authorized by the Commissioner in the presence of objective evidence, which should be shared with the taxpayer.”

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