FBR urges traders, taxpayers to opt for E-Payment facility

Raza Kazmi

ISLAMABAD: In continuation of FBR reforms and modernization drive, E-Payment facility for payment of all FBR taxes as well as some provincial taxes has been introduced for convenient and hassle-free payment. On the one hand, traders can electronically pay all import duties and taxes through Customs computerized system WeBOC at ports and border stations across Pakistan. While on the other hand, taxpayers can also electronically pay income tax, sales tax and Federal Excise duty sitting in their homes.
E-Payment system provides round the clock facility to taxpayers and traders to make online payment of customs duties and other FBR taxes as well as provincial cess and stamp duty. The facility is available through internet and mobile banking by using more than 15000 ATMs of 16000 Over the Counters (OTC) bank branches of commercial banks spreading across the country.
The taxpayers’ confidence and interest in E-Payment is growing fast and it can be gauged from the fact that the proportion of number of E-Payments of Income Tax, Sales Tax and Federal Excise Duty has increased from 6.26% of total payments during July to December 2019 to 40.5% during same period of 2020. Similarly, the proportion of amount deposited in these E-Payments has increased from 13.55% of total payments to 76.5% during the comparative periods.
E-payment facility has greatly helped the traders and other taxpayers’ during the COVID pandemic since all transactions can be completed without physical interaction. Currently 18.6% of import duties and taxes are being collected by Pakistan Customs through E-Payment system.
More than 80,000 consignments consisting of nearly 22% of total imports were cleared in WeBOC through E-Payment in the last 6 months. Apart from major Customs stations including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, the facility is also being availed by importers in remote areas like Taftan and Khunjerab.
FBR urges the traders and other taxpayers to utilize E-Payment facility as it reduces their cost of doing business and contributes significantly towards improving the ease of doing business. It also expedites the clearance of goods, enhances transparency in the duty payment mechanism and ensures timely revenue reconciliation. Acknowledging E-Payment as a major step towards trade facilitation, World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement also promotes the use of electronic payment methods amongst the traders.
FBR has launched an awareness campaign to enhance the use of E-Payment facility. In this regard, a number of seminars have been conducted to educate trade bodies and Customs Agents about the benefits of E-Payment. The traders can also take benefit of the FAQs section relating to E-Payment available on the WeBOC web page.
TLTP adds: Meanwhile, income tax return filing hit record high at 3.03 million for tax year 2019, according to weekly Active Taxpayers List (ATL) updated on Monday.
The FBR issued the weekly ATL – 2019 updated on the basis of returns filed up to January 10, 2021. The ATL-2019 will remain applicable till February 28, 2021 as the FBR will issue new ATL for tax year 2020 on March 01, 2021.
The return filers including salaried persons, business individuals, Association of Persons (AOPs) and companies can check their names on the ATL by visiting ‘how to check ATL status.’
The filing of income tax return is mandatory for persons driving taxable income or specified under Section 114 of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
The appearance of names on the ATL is only possible after filing income tax returns within the due date. In case persons are not on the ATL then the rate of withholding tax shall be increased by 100 percent on various transactions.
Persons fail to file their returns by due date but file after the date will also not qualify to enlist their name on the ATL until fine is not paid to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
A taxpayer should check his/her status on the ATL before making transactions in order to avail reduced rate of tax rates.

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