Bearer bonds, certificates should be stopped to prevent tax evasion

Bearer bonds, certificates should be stopped to prevent tax evasion

KARACHI: The government has been recommended to stop all kind of bearer certificates, bonds and other instruments in order to eliminate parking lots for untaxed funds.

Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) in its proposals for budget 2020/2021 recommended measures to eliminate legally permissible parking lots for untaxed funds.

The OICCI said that bearer certificates, bonds and other instruments lead to tax evasion.

Therefore, sale of all kinds of bearer securities, prize bonds, and other such items should be stopped.

The OICCI further said that despite the revision of real estate values there is still a lot of difference between actual market value and various ‘official’ values of real estate across the country.

It is proposed that shortcomings in the mode and manner of valuation of immovable properties to be addressed. Registration of sale and purchase of real estate should be on fair market value at the time of the transaction. Necessary information on market value of real estate can be easily obtained.

In order to broaden the tax base, the OICCI also suggested introduction of books of account and cash registers.

It said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) does not have any proper shop-wise record of approximately 35 million SMEs, which are mostly sole proprietorship or partnerships, despite the fact that jurisdictions within the tax offices are location centric, especially for small and medium sized businesses.

The OICCI recommended:

i. It should be made mandatory for all businesses to maintain books of account and taxes should be levied on ‘net income’ basis only.

ii. Registration of all retail outlets and electronic cash registers should be made mandatory without any turnover thresholds, which gives rise to tax evasion. The

iii. installation of these registers should be inspected regularly by tax inspectors.

iv. FBR should engage with representatives of small manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers and ensure their buy-in for introduction of these documentation measures so that the previous back-tracking on these actions is not repeated.

v. The book keeping requirements/ outline be regularly upgraded considering the best practices learnt from other neighboring countries in the region with similar business infrastructure.