Raza Kazmi

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed who has recently took over the reins of the top FBR slot from the outgoing Chairman Asim Ahmad addressed a media briefing session, here at the FBR headquarters, late Tuesday afternoon.
In his remarks, Dr. Ahmed disclosed that according to the provisional information, FBR has collected net revenue of Rs.850 billion during July-August of current Financial Year 2021-22, which has exceeded the target of Rs.690 billion by Rs.160 billion. This represents a growth of about 41% over the collection of Rs.603 billion during the same period last year.
The net collection for the month of August, 2021 was Rs.434 billion representing an increase of 45% over Rs.300 billion collected in August 2020.
The gross collections increased from Rs. 633 billion during July-August, 2020 to Rs. 885 billion in current Financial Year, showing an increase of 40%. The amount of refunds disbursed was Rs.35 billion during July-August, 2021 compared to Rs.30 billion paid last year, showing an increase of 17%.
Meanwhile, elaborating the backdrop of the revenue trends, he in the tax years 2018, 2019 & 2020 revenue collected was Rs.3,844, Rs.3,829 and Rs.3,997 billion, respectively. He said if TSG at Rs. 100 billion is taken out, net collection of tax year 2020 reduces to Rs.3,897 billion.
In the tax year 2021, he said net collection was Rs. 4,735 billion showing a growth of 18.45%.
Dr. Ahmed said the refunds of Rs. 364 billion in tax year 2021 against Rs. 276 billion in tax year 2020 was Rs. 88 billion registering a growth of 31.8%. This was despite the fact that: Finance Act, 2020 was revenue neutral, economy went through the COVID shock while the tax concessions/waivers carrying a tax-tag of Rs.50 billion approximately were allowed during the year.
Talking about the restructuring initiatives, the Chairman FBR listed the following achievements: Centralized monitoring and supervision; Crackdown on unethical practices; Realignment of jurisdiction; Establishment of new formations – LTO Multan & CTO Islamabad; Crackdown against smuggling/POL stations; Curbing under invoicing; Initiation of high impact sectoral audits; Automation of refunds – Sales Tax (FASTER+) & Income Tax (CITRO); Centralized Post Refund Audit; Alternate Dispute Resolution; Chief Commissioners as Ombudsperson to resolve taxpayers issues expeditiously; and Establishment of Pakistan Single Window (PSW).
The briefing was followed by a Question-Answer sessions in which the Chairman FBR answered all the questions in detail with utmost patience.
Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed also highlighted the Current Year’s Themes as: Automation; Facilitation; Simplification; Enforcement; and Ease of Doing Business.
Later the Chairman FBR Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed mixed up with the senior journalists covering the Press briefing.
Earlier, the Chairman FBR, in a letter to the provincial Tax authorities has proposed technical collaboration between Federal Board of Revenue and the provincial Tax authorities on agricultural income which is taxed by provinces and is exempt from Federal Income Tax.
The Chairman FBR also highlighted that tax evaders claim agricultural income as exempt in FBR returns and do not pay tax to either FBR or the provincial governments. He made it clear that Income Tax Ordinance prescribes that agricultural income will be exempt only if Provincial Income Tax is paid on it.
He disclosed that the FBR has extended cooperation to provincial governments by offering to issue a system generated notices to taxpayers who declare agricultural income in Federal Income Tax Returns, to duly discharge their tax liabilities with the provinces. The offer is aimed at strengthening the enforcement of tax laws.
Dr. Ahmed insisted that the FBR’s offer for cooperation with the provincial Tax authorities is in the interest of national revenues so as to ensure that the persons earning agricultural income may pay due tax to provinces and that no income goes untaxed by both FBR and provincial governments.