KARACHI: Today i.e. December 31, 2019 is the last date for filing income tax returns for tax year 2019 and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) may not able to reach 2.74 million returns of tax year 2018.
The income tax return filing for tax year 2018 has increase to a new record level of 2.74 million by December 29, 2019, as shown in the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) issued on December 30, 2019.
The FBR received 1.8 million tax returns for tax year 2019 by December 12, 2019 and it is apparently difficult for the revenue authorities to reach the record level in 18 days.
Tax experts said that the FBR had set a target of 3.5 million returns for tax year 2019. To achieve this number the FBR has to extend the return filing date.
The last date for filing of income tax return other than companies was September 30, 2019 since then the FBR granted four extensions to facilitate taxpayers.
All the taxpayers including companies to file their returns by mid-night December 31, 2019.
It is interesting to note that no tax body or business associations have asked the FBR to further extend the date beyond December 31, 2019.
The income tax return filing reached to a new record high of 2.74 million as people making compliance to avoid 100 percent additional tax on persons not appearing on Active Taxpayers List (ATL).
Sources in Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) attributed the record increase in return filing to the amendment to Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 through Finance Act, 2019.
In the last budget 2019/2020 a new Tenth Schedule was inserted to Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 under which persons not appearing on ATL would liable to pay 100 percent more withholding tax on certain transactions.
The ATL for tax year 2018 issued on March 01, 2019 in which 1.59 million names were appeared of those taxpayer, who filed their returns by due date.
However, later the FBR granted extension in date for filing returns due to introduction of a tax amnesty scheme.
The extension for filing income tax returns for tax year 2018 was granted up to August 09, 2019.
The return filing up to August 09, 2019 for tax year 2018 jumped up to 2.5 million from 1.59 million returns, which were part of the first ATL issued March 01, 2019.
The insertion of Tenth Schedule to Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 speed up the return filing by taxpayers in order to avoid higher tax rate on certain transactions.
Previously, people filing their annual income tax returns after due date were not allowed to appear on the ATL. However, another provision was added to the main statute under which persons by paying penalty can include their name to ATL.