ICAP plays key role in budget preparation process
SALIM AHMED LAHORE—‘Efforts of ICAP in advising government in budget preparation, particularly in suggesting amendments in revenue laws are commendable and proposals received from ICAP were duly considered in formulation of the Finance Bill 2016-17.’ Haroon Akhtar Khan Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue said this at a post budget seminar organised by Northern Regional Committee of ICAP. He said that harmful taxation that hampers business and trade should be eliminated. ‘Being vital for good governance, Pakistan lacks culture of tax compliance.
There is, therefore, an urgent need to reform the taxation system by engaging all the stakeholders. ICAP’s efforts to assist and help Government in this regard are commendable,’ he added. In series of “post budget seminars”, organized by the Southern and Northern Regional Committees of the ICAP in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad, respectively, tax experts unanimously agreed that the new tax system automation measures will help reduce the discrepancies in the sales tax returns filing and will strengthen the system. Presenters on Indirect Taxation praised Government’s decision on the implementation of new module. Speakers believed that the automation will minimize the reporting errors and strengthen the right of input tax claim.
In case of any subsequent negative mark- ing against the supplier such as non-active, blocked or blacklisting, the burden will entirely shift to the supplier. With regard to tax on retailers, speakers proposed the government to review its decision of reverting back to turnover tax regime. ‘It’s just only two years back when FBR had mandated registration for tier one (1) retailers and reverting back to turnover tax regime manifest not only indicate failure of the registration drive but also admission of such collapse,’ one of the speakers said and added that such shortterm measures will hamper expansion of tax net and discourage existing taxpayers.
Presentations on Direct Taxation highlighted the salient features of the Finance Bill 2016 while giving detailed explanation in respect of each key feature. The speakers believe that promotion of corporatization of businesses, by rationalizing gross incidence of tax and compliance burden, dedicated policy measure to tap sources of income and identifying with non-filers and under declaration was lacking in the Bill.