Withholding tax exemption sought on commodity future contracts

Withholding tax exemption sought on commodity future contracts

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been urged to exempt withholding tax on transactions made for future contracts at commodity exchange.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in budget proposals 2021/2022 submitted to the FBR, highlighted the issue and stated that currently, buyer of a commodity withholds tax (4 percent-9 percent) from seller before making payment with the exception of growers.

This tax adds cost and puts the investors at a disadvantageous position when dealing in actual commodity exchange at PMEX in futures contracts/e-WHR5 as grain markets are not documented and as such this tax is actually not being paid.

The stock exchange proposed to exempt commodity futures contracts and EWRs from the application of section 153 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 like these are exempt from GST under SRO 445(1)12004 June 14, 2004.

It will be only applicable on physical settlement of futures contract by exchange of delivery of underlying commodity. On contract, CGT is already applicable.

Giving rationale to the proposal, the PSX said that development of regulated and organized commodity markets will greatly benefit the agriculture sector.

Revenue impact will be neutral to positive due to adjustability of withholding tax while documentation leading towards more income tax from traders and related parties.

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