Will FBR extend return filing date or opt to collect surcharge

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has two options regarding income tax returns filing either to grant further extension or collect late filing surcharge, sources said on Friday.

The last date for annual filing income tax for tax year 2019 is December 16, 2019. The date for filing income tax returns by salaried persons, business individuals, Association of Persons (AOPs) and companies having special financial year was September 30, 2019.

However, the FBR granted first extension on September 30, 2019, second on October 31, 2019 and the third extension was granted on November 29, 2019.

Normally the FBR extends the last date up to mid of December every year. However, for the tax year 2018 the date was extended up to August 09, 2019 due to various reasons including the amnesty scheme launched during the time period.

The sources said that the FBR was eying to receive around 3.5 million income tax returns for tax year 2019 as it had received around 2.71 million returns for tax year 2018.

According to a letter of Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) the total return filing by November 26, 2019 for tax year 2019 was 1.6 million. So it is unlikely the FBR get around one million returns by December 16, 2019. If FBR eyes 3.5 million returns for tax year 2019 then the required number will be 1.8 million returns to be filed during the last extension or 16 days from December 01, 2019 to December 16, 2019.

The sources said that the after the introduction of Tenth Schedule to Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 the return filing had become very important and under the new schedule a person was required to pay 100 percent more withholding tax in case his name was not on the ATL.

Besides, the FBR also introduced slabs of late filing surcharges for individuals, AOPs and companies. The sources said that in case date was not extended beyond December 16, 2019 then return filers would required to pay late surcharge in order to ensure their name on the ATL.

Some sources believed that the FBR would extend the date for filing income tax returns for tax year 2019 as large segment of retailers and small business were required to file their returns and the FBR was working on a mechanism to resolve the issue with retailers and small traders.

The sources said that in case return filing date is given to this segment then FBR would grant general extension to all the persons to file their returns.

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