IRIS 2.0 Breakdowns Make Return Filing Challenging, Says KTBA Convener

IRIS 2.0 Breakdowns Make Return Filing Challenging, Says KTBA Convener

Karachi, September 16, 2023 – The upgraded return filing portal IRIS 2.0 has faced a series of issues that are making it challenging for taxpayers to fulfill their national duty.

Zeeshan Merchant, Convener of the IRIS Executive Committee at the Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA), has shed light on these difficulties.

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While IRIS 2.0 is operational, Merchant expressed dissatisfaction with its performance. He highlighted that frequent breakdowns of the online system are creating significant obstacles in the return filing process for taxpayers.

Merchant, who also served as the President of KTBA, criticized the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for the unplanned introduction of the new return filing system. He emphasized the need for a pilot run of the software before its official launch, especially given that the system changes occurred during the annual return filing season.

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Taxpayers are reportedly grappling with daily difficulties due to the continuous addition of new software or improvements to the existing system by the FBR. These activities have sometimes resulted in system crashes, forcing taxpayers to restart the return filing process.

KTBA has made multiple attempts to inform the FBR about the issues with IRIS, but while some problems have been addressed, many others persist. One example is the problem related to Section 7E of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, concerning deemed income on immovable property. Although the FBR resolved this issue for non-filers, it remains unresolved for income tax return filers.

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Another issue highlighted by Merchant concerns the wealth statement of non-residents. In the current filing system, non-residents are unable to delete data from previous years’ wealth statements.

Regarding security concerns, Merchant pointed out that if one user closes their browser tab while filing a return and another person logs in, the latter user can access the same return that was previously opened by the first user. This security lapse has been brought to the attention of the FBR, and efforts are underway to address it.

Merchant further noted that in the sales tax return, IRIS 2.0 has encountered problems in displaying the tax year. Additionally, due to server errors, taxpayers are unable to access the desired data.

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With the income tax return filing deadline looming on September 30, 2023, Merchant advised the FBR to address these issues promptly to streamline the return filing process, especially considering the expected surge in online traffic during the final 15 days leading up to the deadline.

The challenges faced by taxpayers in using IRIS 2.0 are of concern to the Karachi Tax Bar Association, and they are hopeful that the FBR will take swift action to rectify the system’s shortcomings to ensure a smoother and more efficient tax return filing process for all stakeholders.

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