FBR mulls reducing more withholding tax provisions

FBR mulls reducing more withholding tax provisions

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is considering to withdraw more withholding tax provisions as it has already abolished a number of provisions.

The FBR said it is contemplating reduction in number of withholding tax lines without compromising the documentation contribution of these taxes. “Nine withholding taxes have already been abolished and further reduction is under consideration,” the FBR said in a report..

The FBR aims at re-designing the tax system on ideal principles of taxation, which, inter alia, includes moving towards taxation of net profits under income tax and subjecting all taxable supplies to standard sales tax regime. The initiative involves removal of tax distortions, unnecessary exemptions, tax reductions, zero rating etc. Major guiding principles of tax policy include:-

Corporate income tax reforms—- removal of redundant tax credits, accelerated depreciation, exemptions, reduced rates, exemption from specific provisions etc. This aspect has already been completed by promulgation of Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2021.

Personal Income Tax Reforms—- removal of unnecessary exemptions and rationalization of tax rates and reduction of tax slabs to simplify tax procedures for swift and hassle-free compliance.

Rationalization of minimum taxesFBR is rationalizing presumptive and minimum tax regimes in an effort to realize revenue according to the actual potential of taxpayers.

Removal of procedural complications in tax compliance— Complexities in tax procedures are being removed in order to facilitate compliance.

Removal of anomalies in General Sales Tax on goods—- This involves removal of unnecessary exemptions, reduced rates, zero rating, special tax regimes. The broad guideline is that exemptions / concessions available to all goods except essential food items, health and education related goods are to be reviewed.

Sales tax harmonization —- FBR is pursuing sales tax harmonization with the provincial revenue authorities which includes common definition of goods and services, common minimum threshold, harmonized tax rates, single portal and single sales tax return. The initiative is-expected to complete in medium term.

Promoting ease of doing business— Cognizant of difficulties faced by taxpayers in making tax compliance, FBR is introducing such facilitating measures as making CNIC as the unique identifier for all taxes administered by FBR, harmonization of valuation table for immovable properties with provinces and establishing one-window operations at various compliance levels.

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