FBR decides opening IR offices on Saturdays as coronavirus spreads rapidly

FBR decides opening IR offices on Saturdays as coronavirus spreads rapidly

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to open its field offices on Saturdays to meet monthly target of Rs415 billion despite rapid spread of coronavirus, which already claimed lives of tax officials.

The FBR on Thursday issued a notification directing all chief commissioners of Large Taxpayers Units (LTUs), Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) and Corporate RTOs to observe Saturdays as normal working hours till June 30, 2020.

β€œIn order to enhance the efforts to meet the assigned revenue target of Rs415.5 billion for the current month [June 2020], all field offices will remain open on the Saturdays with effect from June 06, 2020 till June 30, 2020,” the notification said.

FBR sources said that at least three tax officials had died of coronavirus during the past two days. Islah ud Din, Assistant Commissioner, RTO Quetta died on coronavirus on June 04, 2020. While, two other officials of RTO Faisalabad also lost their lives due to the pandemic.

The sources said that there were many cases in field offices some were tested positive and others were yet to gone through the test.

It is also worth mentioning that during past 10-15 days the cases were rapidly increased in the country.

First corona case was reported in Pakistan during February 2020 and then the Sindh province was the first to impose lockdown on March 23, 2020. This resulted in halt of business activities and subsequent affected the revenue collection efforts.

The revenue collection in May 2020 registered 31 percent decline to Rs227 billion as the collection was Rs330 billion in same month last year.

The FBR sources said that same collection position would prevail during June 2020 as most of the collection was to be received of May 2020. The entire month of May was also under lockdown besides long holidays for Eid-ul-Fitr.

The FBR collected Rs518 billion in June 2019. If consider 31 percent decline in June as well the collection for June 2020 may be at Rs358 billion.

The FBR collected Rs3,518 billion during July – May 2019/2020 as compared with Rs3,266 billion collected in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, showing growth of 7.7 percent.