FBR, Bahria University ink MoU for tax awareness

Raza Kazmi

ISLAMABAD: In line with the vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan for promoting Taxation culture in the country, a special signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bahria University, Islamabad and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was held Thursday at Bahria University, Islamabad.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Registrar, Bahria University Commodore Retired Shafqat Azad and Chief FATE of FBR Tehmina Aamer.
MoU is aimed to promote tax culture & tax awareness to the students of Bahria University. It shall serve to foster positive taxation culture and awareness among students and teachers through different sets of activities, skills and experiential learning for making them responsible citizens.
The training sessions will also aim to enable the youth to identify the incidents of tax evasion in their neighborhood and report to tax authorities to discourage this malpractice. Federal Board of Revenue will educate and train students and teachers through taxation syllabus, training sessions and seminars.
According to signed MoU, Bahria University will provide access to FBR for conduct of training and awareness activities in all the campuses of the university. This MoU will be applicable for three years.
Meanwhile, Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) Squads of FBR, in a counter-evasion operation, has seized non duty/tax paid cigarettes (approximately 14,798,000 sticks) worth Rs.30,741,100, resulting in detection of evasion of taxes and duties of Rs.26,184,100 in the month of August, 2021.
Likewise, during the period from July to August, 2021, IREN had seized 26,030,500 illegal cigarettes worth Rs.48,537,140. As such evasion of taxes and duties worth of Rs.44,786,258 was detected. This action is in pursuance to directions of the honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan against illicit sale of non-duty/tax-paid and counterfeit cigarettes.
IREN was established in September 2019 with a Chief Coordinator, Central Field Coordinator and seven regional enforcement hubs all across Pakistan, tasked to conduct raids and seizures on the counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes.
As a part of ongoing crackdown against illicit cigarette trade country wide, all IREN hubs intensified their operation against businesses dealing in non-duty paid and counterfeit cigarettes to save national exchequer from revenue loss.
Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, the Chairman FBR, appreciated the performance of IREN staff. He informed that from November 1, 2021, Track & Trace System would be rolled out to cover tobacco manufacturing across the country, and that AJK Government had approached Federal Board of Revenue to extend the scope of Track & Track System to cigarette manufacturing units located inside AJK territory.
It is expected that over the next few months’ implementation of Track & Trace System and its extension into AJK, coupled with IREN’s valiant drive would help overcome the menace of counterfeit, illicit and non-tax paid cigarettes in the market.
Meanwhile, the FBR has announced that improvement of tax compliance culture is prime objective of the government and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is actively trying to achieve it with the cooperation of taxpayers. The decision of non-extension in due date for filing of return last year saw an overwhelming response from taxpayers.
In view of this the, Iris portal for filing of return this year was operationalized w.e.f. 1st of July, 2021 in order to facilitate the compliant taxpayers.
FBR has advised all taxpayers required to file tax return by 30th September, 2021 to fulfill their legal obligation without waiting for the last date to avoid system delays which occur when a large number of taxpayers log-in for submission of returns near deadline. FBR has reiterated that there will be no extension in due date for filing of Income tax return.

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