FBR admits return filing system failure, extends due date

FBR admits return filing system failure, extends due date

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Thursday admitted serious technical problems in IRIS – the return filing portal – and extended the date by 15 days.

In a circular issued by the FBR stated that the revenue body had extended the date of filing of the income tax return for tax year 2021 by 15 days i.e. up to October 15, 2021 due to “serious technical problems” in online return filing system (IRIS).

Only a day earlier, the FBR claimed that the IRIS portal was working normally and it had received 150,000 returns on September 28, 2021.

On the basis of the claim, the revenue body categorically refused to extend the date i.e. September 30, 2021 for return filing for tax year 2021.

It is surprising that in the latest circular the FBR admitted the flaws in the online system because it had claimed a day earlier that the system is working seamlessly and around 150,000 returns were filed on September 28, 2021, which was the highest ever number filed in a single day.

It was further claimed by the FBR that it had enhanced its system capacity to provide seamless services to taxpayers.

The FBR made these claims despite serious issues highlighted by Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) in its letter to the FBR chairman on September 21, 2021. After the disappointing response from the FBR, the tax bar also requested the prime minister and the finance minister to intervene in the matter as a large number of taxpayers were facing serious issues in filing their tax returns.

Muhammad Zeeshan Merchange, KTBA, President, said that despite FBR’s denial of system glitches finally the date has been extended. He said that it was not expected from the FBR to admit the return filing system failure, he said in a tweet message.

It is pertinent to mention that Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin in a meeting with office bearers of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday already announced to extend the return filing date for 15 days.