Abolition of SRO 1125 does not affect income tax concessions

KARACHI: The abolition of SRO 1125(I)/2011 has not taken away concessions available under income tax laws, the ministry of law and justice said in its opinion.

The SRO 1125(I)/2011 has been rescinded through Finance Act, 2019 and all the benefits available under this such as zero-rating of sales tax and reduced rates of sales tax had been abolished.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) sent an Office Memorandum (OM) to the ministry of law and justice explaining that SRO 1125(I)/2011 dated December 31, 2011 had prescribed zero-rate sales tax for a particular class of taxpayers, while SRO 480(I)/2007 dated June 09, 2007 had specified the Sales Tax Procedure Rules, 2007.

Both SROs stood rescinded through SRO 694(I)/2019 dated June 29, 2019.

“Thus, in view of the aforesaid recession there is no doubt that the sales tax concession available under SRO 1125 and SRO 480 is no longer available.”

The ministry said that the answer to the queries raised in the OM warrants to be divided into two parts. The first part deals with Part II of the First Schedule to the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, which deals with imports under Section 148 of the 2001 Ordinance; while the second part deals with Section 235-B(1) of the 2001 Ordinance.

“We have been instructed to the effect that Part II of the First Schedule to the 2001 Ordinance has given a certain reprieve to a ‘specified class of taxpayers’ for the purposes of import under section 148 of the 2001 Ordinance. In prescribing the said reprieve of income tax, the specified class of taxpayers who qualify for the said concession have been described in Part II of the First Schedule to the 2001 Ordinance to be those who are covered under SRO 1125 i.e. the notification which had prescribed the zero rated sales tax.”

“Therefore, the precise query posed to us is whether the repeal of SRO 1125 automatically also takes away the income tax concession given under Part II of the First Schedule to the 2001 Ordinance, in respect of imports under Section 148 of the 2001 Ordinance, 2001? The simple answer is that the concession prescribed in Part II of the First Schedule to the 2001 Ordinance has not been taken away.”

It is only for the purpose of a handy and convenient description of the person who are meant to enjoy the benefit or reprieve under Part II of the First Schedule to the 2001 Ordinance have been cross referred or defined to be the ‘specified class of taxpayers’ who qualify for the reprieve under SRO 1125.

The said reference is only for the purpose of a convenient identification of that class which is meant to enjoy the concession under Part II of First Schedule to the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, the ministry said.

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