FBR starts collecting withholding tax on cell phones after apex court decision

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and provincial revenue authorities will start collecting withholding tax on use of mobile phone top-ups after decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on Wednesday.

The apex court in a hearing today announced the restoration of all taxes charged by cellular service providers on mobile phone top-up cards.

Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa read out the short order, saying the top court would not interfere in the matters of public revenue and tax collection.

The court also withdrew the stay order placed on the collection of mobile phone taxes while wrapping up the suo motu case.

The apex court suspended the deduction of taxes in June 2018 on prepaid cards provided by mobile phone service providers.

A three-member special bench headed by the chief justice had today reserved its judgement in the case after a detailed hearing during which law officers for the federal and provincial governments presented their arguments.

After the judgment by the superior court the FBR would charge 12.5 percent as withholding tax on load of balance to use mobile phone services. The provincial governments will also start collecting at prevailing rates range between 17 percent to 19 percent as sales tax on service.

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