Senate committee suggests measures for success of voluntary tax scheme

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Monday suggested the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for taking appropriate measures to bring targeted 2.2 million small traders in tax net under Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme introduced by the government.

The committee which met here with Senator Saleem H. Mandviwala in the chair also suggested that the other sector of national economy should also be included in the scheme.

Senior officials of the FBR informed the committee that scheme was not a tax amnesty scheme adding that it was voluntary tax compliance scheme for small traders.

The objective of the scheme was to enhance tax compliance by broadening the tax base and stopping the tax theft adding that the beneficiary of the scheme would also be exempted from tax audit, they added.

They informed that only small and medium traders could get benefit from the scheme whereas the large scale traders would not be eligible for the scheme.

They said that the scheme was also for individuals, associations of peoples and companies having minimum working capital upto Rs 50 million and it would be applicable from 2015 to 2018.

They informed that about 26,000 companies have filed their returns during financial year 2014.

Chairman FBR, Nisar Muhammad Khan informed the committee that the scheme aimed at bringing the non-filers under tax net to enhance the tax base.

He said that FBR had also launched broadening of tax base scheme due to which the numbers of tax payers was increased from 0.7 million to one million during current financial year.

The other objective of the scheme was to reduce the tax burden from the already tax payers and bring other potential tax payers under tax net and small and medium traders were asked to become tax filers, he added.

He said that FBR had also collected the data of schools fee, marriage halls and foreign visits to determine the potential tax payers who were not contributing in revenue collection.

He informed the committee that FBR was taking measures to improve its enforcement system and it was also working to bring direct taxation ratio to 60 percent from existing 40-42 percent.

Chairman FBR said that large scale traders, big business chains and franchises which were about 20,000 would not be able to take benefit from the scheme.

Senators, Kamil Ali Agha, Mohsin Khan leghari, Saud Mojeed, Ayesha Raza Farooq and Nuzhat Sadiq attended the meeting.

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