FBR Aims to Generate Rs 205 Billion Additional Trade Tax in FY25

FBR Aims to Generate Rs 205 Billion Additional Trade Tax in FY25

PkRevenue.com – The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of Pakistan is gearing up to generate an additional Rs 205 billion through trade taxes in the fiscal year 2024-25. This target represents a 9 percent increase over the projected trade tax collection of Rs 1.09 trillion for the current fiscal year, 2023-24.

According to sources within the FBR, the board has set an ambitious goal to collect nearly Rs 1.30 trillion from customs duties in the upcoming fiscal year. This increase in revenue will largely be achieved by hiking trade taxes, including regulatory duties, particularly on luxury and non-essential items in the budget for 2024-25.

The FBR’s projection for customs duty collection for 2023-24 stands at Rs 1.09 trillion. By comparison, the estimated collection for 2024-25 is Rs 1.296 trillion, indicating a significant boost of Rs 205 billion. This strategy underscores a continued heavy reliance on trade taxes to meet revenue targets.

A detailed review of the Pakistan Customs Tariff reveals that numerous imported items—such as consumer goods, home appliances, finished products, and other non-essential items—are already subjected to a variety of trade taxes. These include customs duty, regulatory duty, additional customs duty (ADC), special customs duty, sales tax, withholding tax, and excise duty. The FBR’s approach involves further increasing these duties to enhance revenue collection.

The persistence of this trade tax policy highlights the challenges faced by the FBR in mobilizing revenue through domestic avenues. Broadening the tax base and enhancing documentation within the domestic economy are formidable tasks that are not expected to be easily achieved in the fiscal year 2024-25. Consequently, the reliance on trade taxes remains a critical component of the FBR’s revenue strategy.

Several economic analysts have pointed out the implications of this approach. Increasing duties on luxury and non-essential items is likely to affect the prices of these goods, making them more expensive for consumers. While this move aims to curb imports and boost local industry, it also has the potential to impact consumer behavior and overall market dynamics.

Moreover, the reliance on trade taxes raises questions about the broader economic strategy. Critics argue that while it is a quick method to generate revenue, it may not be sustainable in the long run. The focus on import duties could discourage investment and affect trade relations. Therefore, there is a need for a balanced approach that also strengthens domestic revenue channels.

To address these concerns, the FBR is expected to explore additional measures to enhance revenue without solely relying on trade taxes. This includes efforts to improve tax compliance, reduce evasion, and streamline the tax administration process. There is also an ongoing discussion about introducing reforms to widen the tax net, targeting sectors that are currently under-taxed or operate within the informal economy.

The FBR’s plan to generate Rs 205 billion in additional trade taxes for the fiscal year 2024-25 reflects a strategic yet challenging approach to meeting revenue targets. While this move aims to bolster the national exchequer, it underscores the need for comprehensive tax reforms to ensure sustainable economic growth and development. As the FBR navigates these complexities, the outcomes of these policies will be closely watched by economists, businesses, and the general public.