FBR Portal Glitches Hamper Sales Tax Registration: KTBA

FBR Portal Glitches Hamper Sales Tax Registration: KTBA

PkRevenue.com — The Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) has raised concerns about technical issues on the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) portal that are hindering the sales tax registration process.

In a letter addressed to FBR Chairman Amjad Zubair Tiwana, the KTBA highlighted the complications stemming from recent amendments to the Sales Tax Rules, 2006, introduced through SRO 350(I)/2024 on March 7, 2024.

According to the KTBA, the new regulations under Rule 5 of the Sales Tax Rules have imposed additional restrictions on the sales tax registration process for individuals, firms, and single-member companies. Under the revised rule, registration applications must be approved by the Local Registration Officer (LRO) before they can be processed on the Integrated Revenue Information System (IRIS). The specific proviso added to sub-rule (3) of Rule 5 states:

“Provided that in the case of an individual, an association of persons, and a company having only one shareholder or member, as the case may be, the IRIS shall register such persons only after the LRO is satisfied that the requirements under sub-rule (2) of this rule have been uploaded in IRIS, and the LRO has approved the application through an order in IRIS.”

The KTBA explained that this pre-condition was likely introduced to ensure that local tax offices thoroughly examine the applications before granting sales tax registration numbers. However, KTBA members have reported numerous instances where applications submitted on behalf of their clients remain stuck in the IRIS outbox for extended periods.

Discussions with concerned LROs revealed that while the applications are visible to them on IRIS, there is no option available to either accept or reject the applications. This technical glitch on the IRIS portal has resulted in many sales tax registration applications being indefinitely pending.

In its letter, the KTBA urged the FBR Chairman to address this issue urgently. The association requested that the Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) team be directed to make the necessary changes to the IRIS portal to enable LROs to process sales tax registration applications efficiently.

The KTBA emphasized the need for prompt action to resolve these technical issues, as the delays in registration are affecting businesses and causing frustration among taxpayers. The association hopes that with the FBR’s intervention, the sales tax registration process will become smoother and more efficient, allowing businesses to comply with tax regulations without unnecessary delays.