FBR Opens Inland Revenue Offices on Saturday for Tax Payment Facilitation

FBR Opens Inland Revenue Offices on Saturday for Tax Payment Facilitation

Karachi, November 24, 2023 – The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has announced that the offices of Inland Revenue will remain open on Saturday, November 25, 2023 to facilitate tax payment.

This decision, communicated through official channels, aims to provide an additional working day for taxpayers to fulfill their duties and tax obligations.

The directive extends to Large Taxpayers Offices (LTOs), Medium Tax Office (MTO), Corporate Tax Offices (CTOs), and Regional Tax Offices (RTOs), signaling a concerted effort by the FBR to streamline and expedite the tax payment process.

While the FBR has emphasized the importance of facilitating taxpayers, officials at tax offices in Karachi have expressed reservations about the decision. Criticism stems from the fact that Saturdays are traditionally observed as a weekly holiday, making it an unusual working day for tax offices.

Normally, the FBR issues directives about the opening of tax offices towards the end of each quarter of a fiscal year or during peak times such as nearing the deadline for return filing. The decision to open tax offices on a Saturday, outside of these typical circumstances, has raised eyebrows among local tax office personnel.

The move is seen as a reflection of the FBR’s urgency to achieve the revenue collection target for the fiscal year 2023-24. The FBR aims to satisfy the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ensure sufficient funds are available for crucial development expenditures. Finance Minister Dr. Shamsha Akhtar, addressing the issue of revenue collection a day earlier, expressed optimism about surpassing the targeted Rs9.4 trillion.

Dr. Akhtar noted that the FBR had already exceeded the IMF-set targets in the first quarter, citing increased demand from the expenditure side. She assured that any potential revenue shortfalls would be addressed with additional measures, underscoring the government’s commitment to meeting fiscal objectives.

The decision to open tax offices on a Saturday reflects the FBR’s proactive approach to revenue collection. This strategy aligns with broader economic goals and commitments made to international financial institutions, including the IMF. However, the move has sparked a debate on the balance between meeting fiscal targets and the well-being of tax office personnel, who now find themselves working on an atypical day.

As the FBR continues to implement measures to bolster revenue collection, stakeholders will be closely monitoring the outcomes of this decision. The impact on taxpayer compliance, the efficiency of tax collection processes, and the overall success in meeting fiscal targets will be key areas of interest for both government officials and the business community. The unfolding situation will likely prompt further discussions on the broader strategies employed to ensure sustainable and effective revenue collection in Pakistan.