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FBR recommended to reduce minimum tax for chemical companies

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been urged to reduce minimum tax rate for chemical companies having large turnover with low profit margins.

Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) in its proposals for budget 2021/2022 submitted to the FBR, recommended that minimum tax rate should be reduced to 0.2 percent for large chemical companies with large turnover with low profit margins.

It further recommended that clause b of Section 148(7) of Income Tax Ordinance,  2001 as deleted by the Finance Act, 2017 should be restated, which read as follows: “148(7) b fertilizer by manufacturer of fertilizer” to allow adjustment of tax deducted at import stage for fertilizer imported by a fertilizer manufacturer so as not to make it a final tax.

It recommended that exemption under Clause 42 read with section 153(3) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 be available to all terminals without discrimination. The said clause be re-worded as follows:

“(42) The provisions of sub-section 3 of section 153 shall not apply in respect of payments received by a resident person for providing services by way of operation of terminal(s) at a sea-port in Pakistan or of an infrastructure project covered by the Government’s Investment Policy, 1997.”

For the fertilizer industry, the GST on supply of natural gas as feed stock is at 5 percent and as fuel stock is 17 percent. However, the output GST rate on sales of finished goods i.e. urea is 2 percent. This mismatch between input and output GST results in excessive input tax refundable build-up.

GST rate on supply of natural gas for fertilizer industry should be zero percent.

For the sales tax rate on raw material of paints, the OICCI made following recommendations:

i. Sales tax of 25 percent should be imposed on some basic raw materials like Titanium dioxide and other following categories for commercial importers.

ii. Enforcement measures to be made more effective in consultation with OICCI members, who are established taxpayers, to penalize tax evaders.

The OICCI highlighted that macro nutrients being imported under Chapter 31 of Pakistan Customs Tariff, enjoy reduced duties and taxes representing only 8 percent of the value imported whilst in case of micronutrients being imported under Chapter 28, the import duties and taxes are quite high representing 29% of import value.

It recommended to make necessary amendments in the revenue regulation to reduce sales tax and import duties on import of micronutrients.