KCCI Urges Immediate Rectification of Technical Glitches Affecting Sales Tax Return Filings

KCCI Urges Immediate Rectification of Technical Glitches Affecting Sales Tax Return Filings

Karachi, November 23, 2023 – The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has brought to light a series of technical errors that have impeded the filing of monthly sales tax returns.

KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh has urgently called upon the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to intervene and issue directives for the immediate rectification of these technical glitches, which have been plaguing filers for the past three months.

In a formal letter addressed to Chairman FBR Malik Amjad Zubair Tiwana, President KCCI emphasized the severity of the situation, citing numerous complaints received from KCCI members who have encountered significant challenges in submitting their sales tax returns. The root cause, as identified by President Sheikh, traces back to restrictions introduced last year through Sales Tax General Order (SGTO) 13 of 2022.

SGTO 13 of 2022 imposed limitations on filers, allowing only those with Harmonized System (HS) Codes imported or purchased within the last twelve months to be included in their sales tax returns. While President Sheikh acknowledged the effectiveness of this order in the past year, he highlighted a sudden surge in problems faced by sales tax filers over the last three months.

President Sheikh pointed out, “Since the last three months, Sales Tax Filers have started facing a lot of problems while attempting to input their HS Codes for lawfully imported items by commercial importers. The Goods Declarations (GDs) are available, but the system erroneously claims that the HS code does not exist in the purchases, as per STGO 13 of 2022.” This glitch has led to a significant backlog in sales tax return filings, posing a severe challenge for businesses in the region.

The KCCI president requested Chairman FBR to address this issue promptly, urging that penalties should not be imposed on sales tax filers for failing to meet filing deadlines due to these technical errors. He emphasized the urgency of the matter, noting that if a sales tax filer fails to submit four consecutive returns, the risk of the company being blacklisted becomes substantial.

“This requires immediate attention as if any Sales Tax filer fails to file four consecutive returns, there are huge chances that the company will be blacklisted,” President Sheikh added.

The KCCI’s plea underscores the need for a swift resolution to the technical errors in the Sales Tax Return system, ensuring the smooth functioning of the tax filing process for businesses in Karachi. The ball is now in the court of the FBR to take decisive action and alleviate the challenges faced by sales tax filers in the city.