SRB launches amnesty scheme for exemption from penalty

KARACHI: Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) on Monday launched an amnesty scheme to exempt penalty amount on payable as sales tax on services.

However, concession has been granted on the payment of default surcharge.

The SRB issued notification stating that the provincial revenue board had exempted the whole of the amount of penalty and such of the amount of default surcharge as is in excess of the amount of default surcharge, provided that the principal amount of the tax and the following amount of the default surcharge thereon are deposited during the periods as specified below:

(a) the principal amount of tax (as outstanding on May 21, 2019) along with 5 percent of the amount of default surcharge thereon if deposited during the period from May 21, 2019 to May 27, 2019.

(b) the principal amount of tax (as outstanding on May 21, 2019) along with 10 percent of the amount of default surcharge thereon if deposited during the period from May 28, 2019 to June 03, 2019.

(c) the principal amount of tax (as outstanding on May 21, 2019) along with 15 percent of the amount of default surcharge thereon if deposited during the period from June 04, 2019 to June 10, 2019.

(d) the principal amount of tax (as outstanding on May 21, 2019) along with 20 percent of the amount of default surcharge thereon if deposited during the period from June 11, 2019 to June 20, 2019.

(e) the principal amount of tax (as outstanding on May 21, 2019) along with 25 percent of the amount of default surcharge thereon if deposited during the period from June 21, 2019 to June 30, 2019.

The SRB said that the word ‘deposited’, used in the notification, means deposited by means of the Computerized Payment Receipt (CPR) so generated.

The SRB further said that benefits of exemption of penalty and default surcharge, as specified in the notification, shall also be available in relation to the arrears of the tax (so outstanding on the May 21, 2019) payable under Sindh Sales Tax Ordinance, 2000 and under the Sindh Sales Tax on Services Act, 2011 by:

(i) persons who are liable to be registered under Section 24 of the Act but were not registered, provided that:

(a) they get themselves registered with SRB in the prescribed manner during the aforementioned periods from May 20, 2019 to June 30, 2019;

(b) they deposited their tax liabilities for the principal amount of tax along with the aforementioned percentage of the amount of default surcharge thereon in relation to the tax periods from the date of the commencement of their economic activity to the tax period of May 2019;

(c) they also e-file their tax returns, for the tax periods from date of commencement of their economic activity of taxable services to the tax period May 2019 during the period from the date of this notification to June 30, 2019.

Explanation: For the purpose of word ‘registered’ in the case of withholding agents shall mean ‘e-signed up’ in terms of Sindh Sales Tax Special Procedure (Withholding) Rules, 2014;

(ii) persons who were registered but were non-filers or null-filers or nil-filers of their tax returns;

(iii) persons who were late-registered with SRB and they did not file all of their tax returns for the tax periods from the date of commencement of their economic activity of taxable services;

(iv) persons who withheld any amount of Sindh sales tax but have either not deposited that withheld amount in provincial government account or have deposited the withheld amount in a head of account other that the Sindh government’s head of account.

(v) persons who determine the arrears through self-detection and self-assessment;

(vi) persons who short-paid any amount of tax in their tax returns and persons against whom any arrears of tax was detected in SRB’s scrutiny of tax returns or in SRB’s audit of taxpayers’ record;

(vii) persons against whom any tax amount has been determined or assessed or adjudged, by an officer of the SRB, through an order or decision passed under the Sindh Sales Tax on Services Act, 2011, or the rules/notification issued thereunder;

(viii) persons against whom any tax liability has been adjudged or confirmed by the Commissioner (Appeals) or the Appellate Tribunal;

(ix) persons whose cases are under assessment or under adjudication with any officer of the SRB or are pending, at the appellate stage with the Commissioner (Appeals) or with the Appellate Tribunal; and

(x) persons whose cases are under litigation in any court of law including the High Court or the Supreme Court.

The SRB said that the benefits of this notification, to the extent as specified below, shall also be available in case where a person has late paid the principal amount of tax prior to the date of this notification and/ or has not yet discharged the liability of penalty (whether the prescribed amount or the adjudged amount of the penalty) and the default surcharge on such late payment provided that he pays an amount equal to:

(a) 5 percent of such amount of penalty and 15 percent of such amount of default surcharge (as outstanding on May 21, 2019) in provincial government account during the period from May 21, 2019 to June 3, 2019;

(b) 10 percent of such amount of penalty and 20 percent of such amount of default surcharge (as outstanding on May 21, 2019) in provincial government account during the period from June 04, 2019 to June 20, 2019; and

(c) 15 percent of such amount of penalty and 25 percent of such amount of default surcharge (as outstanding on May 21, 2019) in provincial government account during the period from June 20 21, 2019 to June 30, 2019.

The SRB said that if the whole of the dues of the principal amount of tax and the aforementioned prescribed percentage of the amount of default surcharge thereon are paid by a person in terms of this notification, he shall not be prosecuted under Section 49 of the Act and the offence, to the extend of the arrears of the tax paid under this notification, shall also be compounded under Section 46 of the Act.

The SRB further said that if the principal amount of the tax and the aforementioned percentage of the amount of the default surcharge thereon, as are paid in terms of this notification by the persons in clauses (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix) and (x) of paragraph 2 of the notification, are held to be not payable in view of the order issued by the respective competent authority (i.e. the adjudicating officer or the commissioner appeals or the appellate tribunal or the court of law), the officer of the SRB, not below the rank of an assistant commissioner, shall allow tax adjustment/credit of the amount or alternately, shall refund the amount, so paid, within 90 days from the date of receipt of the taxpayer’s application, for refund or for tax adjustment/credit, together with a copy of the order/judgment and also of the evidence that the incidence of the tax was not passed on to the service recipient.

The SRB further said that the notification would not apply for refund or adjustment of any amount of tax or default surcharge or penalty as has already been paid or recovered on any date prior to May 21, 2019.

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