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Tuesday April 23, 2024

FBR notifies ambitious plan to register retailers

In the last three decades, the FBR had introduced different schemes for retailers but never succeeded in luring them into the tax net

By Mehtab Haider
March 31, 2024
Image of the FBRs building in Islamabad. — X/@FBRSpokesperson/File
Image of the FBR's building in Islamabad. — X/@FBRSpokesperson/File

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to comply with the condition of IMF for securing approval for the last $1.1 billion tranche under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) program, the government on Saturday notified special procedures for bringing one million small shopkeepers and wholesalers into the tax net.

The registration of the Tajir Dost Scheme will kick-start from Monday (April 1) in selected six cities - Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad and Rawalpindi - and will end on April 30. The tax collection will start from July 1, 2024. This Tajir Dost Scheme will not apply to international or national chains operating in more than one city.

In the last three decades, the FBR had introduced different schemes for retailers but never succeeded in luring them into the tax net. It is yet to be seen how this time any different strategy will be utilized to convince them for coming into the tax net.

The FBR under the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) also defined shopkeepers and stated that “shopkeeper” includes wholesaler, dealer, retailer, manufacturer-cum retailer, importer-cum-retailer, or a person who combines the activity of retail and wholesale with any other business activity or other person in the supply chain of goods.”

It said this special procedure shall apply to traders and shopkeepers operating through a fixed place of business including a shop, store, warehouse, office or similar physical place (hereinafter referred to business premises) located within the territorial civil limits including cantonments in the cities as specified in the schedule for registration and payment of minimum advance tax.