Jang Economic Session: Call to consult stakeholders before making new tax law

 
September 25, 2021

LAHORE:The government issued new proposed Income Tax Ordinance in haste which was rejected by the traders as the business activities are not picking up due to COVID-19 impact and new taxes further...

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LAHORE:The government issued new proposed Income Tax Ordinance in haste which was rejected by the traders as the business activities are not picking up due to COVID-19 impact and new taxes further burdened the public and businesses.

These views were expressed by the panelists Pervaiz Hanif, Imran Afzal and M Ashraf Bhatti in Jang Economic Session on ‘Is proposed Income Tax Ordinance unavoidable’. The session was moderated by Sikandar Lodhi. Pervaiz Hanif said that online business was growing due to COVID-19 implications which supported the trade, business and created employment opportunities. However, now bringing them in tax net will create problems for the new businessmen. The new ordinance should not be introduced in haste without consulting all the stakeholders.

He believed that threatening the already financially troubled business and trading community with strict punishments and heavy fines in the ordinance was unfair. He suggested bringing all sectors in the tax net, including doctors, engineers, lawyers and others alongside making the taxation system easy as taxpayers considered themselves trapped as compared to non-registered persons.

Imran Afzal said that proposed Income Tax Ordinance would be beneficial in the long run but there was need to create awareness, tax education and changing assignment methods. He said that no one was ready to pay tax voluntarily but steps towards digitisation of economy would reduce tax evasion. He suggested making taxation system easy.

Ashraf Bhatti termed the new tax ordinance an injustice with the traders who were already suffering from COVID-19 impact, increased unemployment and economic crisis. He said the traders rejected the new ordinance while the government should take all the stakeholders on board before making such laws.

He said the economy was improved in the official government numbers but on ground it’s altogether different. The commoner and salaried class will suffer further burden with the new taxes which will further cause tax evasion. He believed that tax could not be collected by force, by creating threats of fine and punishments.



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