FBR urged to reduce sales tax rate
President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Monday urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to reduce the rate of General Sales Tax to single digit as existing rate of GST is too high and obstructing the growth of trade and industry.
He was addressing the delegations of Shahalam Market led by Chaudhry Wajid Ali. LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed also spoke on the occasion.
The LCCI President said that existing 17 per cent rate of General Sales Tax is too high and not only one of the biggest reasons of high cost of doing business but is also encouraging tax evasion. He said that General Sales Tax rate should be brought down to a single digit.
Sheikh Muhammad Arshad urged the bureaucracy to facilitate the business community instead of looking for easy targets, squeezing the existing taxpayers and taking illogical measures like attaching their business accounts, undue notices and raids on business premises.
He said that businessmen want to put in their share in economic development of the country provided they are treated fairly. He said that huge revenue target set for next financial year could be achieved only through resolving the issued being faced by the existing taxpayers.
The LCCI president informed the visiting delegations that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has formed the budget proposals after consultation with the other Chambers of Commerce & Industry of the country.
"The LCCI in its budget proposals has demanded of the government resolve the issues of Income Tax, Sales Tax, Customs Duty and Federal Excise duty etc at the earliest", the LCCI president added.
He said that business community wants broad based reforms in taxation system with consultation of private sector. He said that withholding tax regime needs to be reviews and withholding agents should be given certain incentives.
He said that business community has serious reservations with regard to current performance of FBR for disbursing refund cases of Sales Tax and Income Tax. He said that the exporters are suffering the most because they are facing serious issues of shortage of working capital. He urged the Federal Board of Revenue that all the backlog of refunds should be cleared within two months upon the filing of returns. Similarly banking bonds may be issued for the large amount of refunds withheld since years.
He urged the Federal Board of Revenue to select the audit on the basis of parameters by FBR through random balloting rather than allowing the concerned commissioners to use their discretionary powers.
The LCCI President said that federal and provincial sales tax authorities should agree on constitution of fully empowered National Tax Commission to bring in harmony in the sales tax laws dealing with services. He said that sales tax on advances is creating unnecessary hardship and issues of unnecessary reconciliation for registered persons. It may be made applicable on actual delivery of goods.
Chaudhry Wajid Ali and Khawaja Amir called to resolve the issues of valuation and smuggling.