PTBA demands further extension in tax filing deadline  | Business | thenews.com.pk
Sun November 19, 2017
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Business

November 15, 2017

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PTBA demands further extension in tax filing deadline 

PTBA demands further extension in tax filing deadline 

KARACHI: A large number of taxpayers may not be able to file annual returns for the year 2017 by November 15, 2017 due to congestion and slowdown at the online portal of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), tax practitioners feared on Tuesday.

“The FBR has received about 775,000 income tax returns by evening of November 13, whereas the return filers for tax year 2016 are at around 1.3 million,” Abdul Qadir Memon, president, Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) said. 

“It is not possible for the remaining 500,000 taxpayers to file their return in two days due to capacity issue and congestion of the IRIS system.”  The PTBA chief added that in case the filing date was not extended further by the FBR, the bulk of non-filers would be selected for audit automatically under Section 214D of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

“This will be a challenge for FBR to conduct audit of such a large numbers as it already facing capacity issue in conducting audit,” Memon added.  He suggested the FBR to review Section 214D in order to increase the tax net. 

Memon also mentioned the FBR had launched a campaign for broadening of tax base, which would further increase the return filing by at least 200,000 for tax year 2017.  Tax bars, including Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) recently raised objections that as per law, taxpayers should be given statutory time period from the day of issuing final forms for income tax return and wealth statement. 

The PTBA in a letter sent to FBR couple of days back had already urged for an extension in the last date for filing income tax returns up to December 20, 2017. On the other hand, business community is also demanding of the FBR to extend the last date for filing annual returns up to December 31 from November 15.

Muffasar Atta Malik, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said the extension would facilitate those taxpayers, who had still not been able to file returns. “IRIS servers are too busy due to excessive load as many taxpayers were simultaneously filing Income Tax/ Sales Tax Returns under section 147 and monthly statement under section 165 of the Income Tax Ordinance,” Malik said.

He added that the complications in online system were not something new to taxpayers as every year, submitting returns turns into a daunting task. “The FBR is requested to seriously focus on enhancing the capacity of its online system, which was not even capable of smoothly handling a small number of registered taxpayers -less than one percent of the population,” Malik stressed. ­

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