FBR advised to stop treating taxpayers unfairly

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been urged to stop unfair treatment of compliant taxpayers. The taxpayers should be rewarded instead of harassing them for being compliant.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) in its tax proposals for budget 2019/2020, said that at present, existing tax payers are confronted with complex laws and unfair treatment by FBR’s personnel and are also threatened at times.

Taxpayers expect to obtain some form of benefit, e.g. health benefits, free education etc. while on the other hand, non-filers continue with their businesses facing no repercussions paying little or no amount of tax.

“This coupled with the harassment by tax system leads to existing tax payers feeling mistreated.”

The ICAP recommended:

As per section 182A, a person filing his/her return of income after the due date remains non-filer for the entire next year.

In order to encourage filing of returns, persons filing returns late should not be discouraged and should be brought in Active Taxpayers List (ATL).

Penalty provisions are already there to address delayed filings.

Active taxpayers list should be updated simultaneously with the filling of return of income.

Some mechanism should be developed to stop all types of unfair treatment with existing taxpayers be it attachment of bank accounts for substantially fictitious demands or asking for absurd details and reconciliations which are too voluminous and not possible to prepare within a reasonable timeframe e.g. explanation of each and every credit entry in the bank statements or reconciling sales and purchases as per sales tax and customs records with accounts.

A person, whose case is selected for audit under the provision of tax laws, should not be subject to monitoring of withholding taxes and other assessment proceedings as same information/details/explanations are asked again and again for different proceeding creating hassle for the filer/registered person.

Filers should be given priority treatment at various infrastructural facilities e.g., at NADRA, schools, excise and taxation when registering motor vehicles, courts of law, banks, hospitals, airports etc.

Top 50/100 tax payers are given blue passports till the time they remain in the list of top 50/100.

Incentives for compliant tax payers and professionals (Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, reduction in tax rates, tax education through media – pubic private partnership.

A tax filer with over 20 years of tax payment history should be treated with respect & certain tax rebates should be allowed to them including on utility bills.

Likewise a person who has been a genuine taxpayer for 20 years who is over 70 years should be exempted from tax deductions.

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