The Punjab Revenue Authority has started functioning with the appointment of a former member board of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Iftikhar Qutab, as its first chief.
The Punjab government, through the Finance Bill 2012, had announced the functioning of PRA in the provincial budget 2012-13 with primary duty to collect general sales tax (GST) on services for fiscal year 2012-13.
According to Punjab Finance Secretary Traiq Bajwa, PRA has started functioning from July 1 while the structural development of the authority is underway. The collection of taxes will also start once structural development is completed. Other four members of PRA will be appointed soon.
Sources in the Punjab finance department said PRA structural development had already started and it would be completed soon. After the completion of structural development, GST on service collection will start, they said, adding that the province will collect GST on services for the fiscal year itself as the Sindh Board of Revenue had already started collection of GST on services itself during fiscal year 2011-12, despite some issues on standalone services were yet to be decided. However, when the federal government did not stop the SBR from collection of GST on services with the pending undecided issues, Punjab has also decided to collect GST on services itself, they added. PRA is an independent department working under the chief minister and the Punjab chief secretary offices.
According to the Punjab Sales Tax on Service Act 2012, PRA other than Chief would be consisted of eight officials including, Commissioner, Commissioner (Appeals), Additional Commissioner of the Authority, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Audit Officer, Inspector, and an officer with any other designation.
Under the Act, everyone who provides taxable services from his office or place of business in Punjab should register with the PRA. Any person who carries on an economic activity but is not required to be registered with the PRA may apply for voluntary registration at any time. If the authority is satisfied that a person who is required to be registered and has not applied for it, the PRA will register the person and notify the person with fifteen days of registration and registration number on the pattern of National Tax Number (NTN) would be issued to him.
The share of Punjab in GST on services is almost Rs 40 billion while Sindh’s share is only Rs 12 billion. Punjab has been already been collecting almost Rs 42 billion tax revenue through its Excise and Taxation Department and Punjab Board of Revenue (BOR) out of which Rs 16 billion is generated by Excise and Taxation Department and Rs 26 billion by the BOR.