Annual tax return filing by due date falls 29 percent

Annual tax return filing by due date falls 29 percent

ISLAMABAD: Filing of annual income tax returns fell by 29 percent for tax year 2020 by due date as compared with number of return filed by due date for tax year 2019.

The FBR on Wednesday said that it had received around 1.8 million income tax returns for tax year 2020 by the due date i.e. December 08, 2020, which was extended from September 30, 2020. Since the FBR has refused to further extend the date so December 08, 2020 has been taken as the closing date for filing income tax returns for tax year 2020 without fine and penalty.

The FBR received 2.53 million returns by due date i.e. February 28, 2020, which was extended from September 30, 2019 to October 31, 2019, then November 30, 2019, then December 16, 2019, then December 31, 2019, then January 31, 2020 and final extension granted up to February 28, 2020.

The number of 2.53 million returns has been shown on the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) for tax year 2019 issued on March 01, 2020.

Around 2.98 million returns for tax year 2019 have been filed till December 06, 2020 as shown in the updated weekly ATL issued on December 07, 2020.

The latest number of returns filed for tax year 2020 has shown that it was around 39.6 percent or 1.18 million returns short when compared with latest ATL for tax year 2019.

On the other hand the FBR on Wednesday said that it had received 1.8 million tax returns for tax year 2020 by the last date i.e. December 08, 2020 as compared with 1.73 million returns received on the same date last year, showing 4 percent growth. However, the FBR said that around 300,000 taxpayers had submitted applications for date extension by the due date. This number will also add to the total number of returns filed for tax year 2020.

It is worth mentioning that the due date for filing income tax returns for tax year 2019 was extended up to February 28, 2020.

Further, since the launch of ATL on March 01, 2020 or the due date of February 28, 2020 for tax year 2019 the FBR received another 450,000 returns for the same year up to December 06, 2020.

The FBR through its press release said that its decision of not extending the date beyond December 08, 2020 was right. The decision for not extending the last date was taken to ensure discipline in return filing by due date.

However, collection of tax with return has shown significant increase. The FBR said that collection with return increased to Rs22 billion by the due date i.e. December 08, 2020, was 63 percent higher when compared with Rs13.5 billion by the same date of the last fiscal year.

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