ISLAMABAD: Amongst various innovative digital interventions made by FBR to maximize tax compliance through automation of its operations and facilitation of taxpayers, Point of Sale System is one key initiative which aims to monitor sales made by Tier-1 Retailers across Pakistan.
Adding value to this critically important sector and plug revenue leakages, FBR has launched an aggressive awareness campaign on the mainstream national media to educate and engage consumers to ensure that tax collected from them at the point of sale is deposited into state exchequer and not pocketed by the retailers themselves.
Furthermore, the campaign also encompasses a prize scheme worth Rs.53 Million to be disbursed among 1007 lucky winners through a transparent computerized ballot to be held on 15th of every month at FBR Headquarters, Islamabad. This is truly an unprecedented example of involving citizens in tax compliance and raise their awareness about their national responsibility to not pay their due tax but also safeguard the same from being stolen on its way to national exchequer.
The ongoing outreach campaign and the prize scheme continue to gain momentum as numbers keep growing up. In January, FBR has witnessed that about 2,49,000 invoices were verified by customers who shopped from outlets integrated with FBR POS System as against 153,000 in January 2022. Likewise, around 38 Million invoices were issued by Tier-1 Retailers which are integrated with FBR POS System in February as compared to 37 Million in January, 2022, despite the current month being short of 3 days as compared to January. Approximately, another 4 million verified invoices would have been added to tally if 3 more days were available in February.
The number of customers has also jumped from 27,000 in January to around 39000 in February who successfully verified their invoices. This is a phenomenal increase in public participation and is likely to further grow with every passing day. The second computerized ballot was held on 15th February (Tuesday evening) at FBR Headquarters, Islamabad, with Finance Minister, Shaukat Fayaz Tarin, as the Chief Guest. It is very heartening to see that people at large are excited to engage in this national call to duty.
In its ongoing country-wide awareness campaign, FBR has appealed the Pakistani citizens to actively promote a culture of tax compliance in the country. The country’s premier revenue collection organization has suggested a three pronged strategy to ensure that Sales Tax collected from customers at the point of sale could actually be deposited in the state exchequer. FBR has proposed that people should shop only from those Tier-1 retail outlets which are integrated with FBR POS System, demand computerized invoice (Pakki Receipt), and finally verify the same through FBR Tax Asaan App.
It is so very reassuring to witness that citizens have started responding to this call to national duty and are demanding Pakki Receipt from the retail outlets. FBR has already distributed prizes worth Rs.106 million among 2014 lucky winners in two successive computerized ballots held in a transparent manner on 15th of January & February 2022. More than half of the fortunate winners have already got the prize money transferred into their bank accounts. It is also worth sharing that people are showing a lot of interest in becoming part of next computerized draw, which will be held on 15th March, 2022.
This empowering zeal and exemplary commitment shown by huge number of people at large is a testimony to their trust in FBR and its innovative POS Invoicing Prize Scheme. The national spirit has already triggered an increased sense of responsibility in the people at large to become the custodian of their tax collected by the retailers in order to ensure that the same is safely deposited in the national exchequer.
This innovative initiative of engagement of customers is all set to pick momentum and thus accelerate the desired national drive to promote tax compliance and substantially increase revenues. It also aims to incentivise people to play their role as responsible citizens and compliant taxpayers. The POS Prize Scheme is providing an opportunity to people to win cash prizes after they shop from Tier-1 POS integrated retail outlets by verifying their receipts through Tax Asaan App or SMS.
Furthermore, as a result of strong enforcement by FBR Field Formations across Pakistan, out of around 4200 identified as Tier-1 Retailers, over 3600 have already integrated their business operations with FBR POS System. Their 17000 outlets with over 19500 cash counters are fully integrated with POS System which lends FBR the facility to digitally monitor their sales and thus ensure that Sales Tax being collected from customers is being actually deposited into state exchequer, without fail.