KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will issued Active Taxpayers List (ATL) for tax year 2019 on March 01, 2020 to enable persons filed income tax returns for the tax year availing reduced rates and other benefits.
ATL is published every financial year on the March 01 and is valid up to the last day of February of the next financial year, the FBR said.
For example, Active Taxpayer List for Tax year 2017 was published on March 01, 2018 and will be valid till February 28, 2019.
Similarly, Active Taxpayer List for Tax year 2018 was published on 1st March 2019 and will be valid till February 29, 2020.
The appearance of ATL has become more important following amendment introduced through Finance Act, 2019 under which 100 percent additional tax has been imposed on certain transactions by persons not appearing on the ATL.
The FBR in an official memorandum said that previously the law provided for the concept of a non-filer and stipulates higher withholding rates for the same which were adjustable at the time of filing of income tax return.
This tax regime had created a misconception that a non-filer can go scot free by choosing not to file income tax return.
The measure was meant to increase the number of filers, however over time the focus shifted to raising additional revenue only.
The measure had not achieved the desired results as the previous regime did not provide for any legal framework to ensure filing of return by such non filers.
In order to remove the aforesaid misconception, the concept and the term of ‘non-filer’ is being abolished from the statute, wherever occurring.
A separate Schedule has introduced to specifically provide a legal framework for punitive measures for persons not appearing on ATL and to ensure filing of return by such persons.
The main attributes of this scheme are as under:-
— Persons whose names are not appearing on the ATL will be subjected to hundred percent increased rate of tax.
— The withholding agents will clearly specify the names, CNIC or any other identification of such persons in the withholding statement so that legal provisions to enforce return can come into effect.
— Where a withholding agent is of the opinion that hundred percent increased tax is not required to be collected on the basis that the person was not required to file return, the withholding agent shall furnish an intimation to the Commissioner setting out the basis on which the person is not required to file return. The Commissioner shall accept or reject the contention on the basis of existing law. In case the Commissioner fails to respond within thirty days, permission shall be deemed to be granted to not deduct tax at hundred percent increased rate
— Where the person’s tax has been deducted or collected at hundred percent increased rate and the person fails to file return of income for the year for which tax was deducted, the Commissioner shall make a provisional assessment within sixty days of the due date for filing of return by imputing income so that tax on imputed income is equal to the hundred percent increased tax deducted or collected from such person and the imputed income shall be treated as concealed income.
— The provisional assessment shall be of no effect if the person files return within forty five days of completion of provisional assessment and the provisions of the Ordinance shall apply accordingly. Where return is not filed within forty five days of provisional assessment, it shall be treated as final assessment and the Commissioner shall initiate penalty proceedings for concealment of income.