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September 30, 2020

Income taxpayers to get Rs16bln refunds next week


September 30, 2020

KARACHI: Taxpayers are expected to receive Rs16 billion worth of income tax refunds from a Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) office next week, sources said on Tuesday.

The sources said Large Taxpayers Office (LTO) Karachi has completed processing of income tax refunds worth Rs16 billion to clear their outstanding liquidity and facilitate them in difficult financial conditions that emerged due to coronavirus lockdown.

The tax office finalised processing the income tax refunds by evening of September 28, which will be transferred directly to bank accounts of the taxpayers by next week, they said.

Badaruddin Qureshi, chief commissioner of Inland Revenue, LTO Karachi confirmed with The News that the processing of refunds has been completed. The amount will help the taxpayers in managing their liquidity problems following the adverse impact of coronavirus lockdown on businesses.

Businesses were struggling to stay afloat amid the lockdown that was lifted after five months. Pakistan’s initial economic losses in different sectors of the country’s economy were estimated at Rs1.3 trillion.

In July, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh directed the FBR to make payment of all income tax refunds of up to Rs50 million on priority basis.

Shaikh directed the tax authority to adopt a clear roadmap and strategy for the payment of remaining refunds. “The government has a clear policy that all tax refunds, whether fresh or old, should be paid back without any excuse,” he was quoted as saying in a statement then.

Qureshi said all the pending refunds of up to Rs50 million have been processed to comply with the directives of the adviser.

The chief commissioner said around 1,000 taxpayers of LTO Karachi will benefit from the disbursement of refunds. The processed claims were sent to the FBR headquarters for further verification.

“The FBR will authenticate all the claims and transfer the amount directly to bank accounts of taxpayers,” he added.

An amount of Rs40 billion is to be disbursed as income tax refund under the government’s COVID relief package.

The FBR directed all the tax offices to finalise income tax refund processing by evening of September 28 for subsequent payment to taxpayers.

Last week, Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) said the task for compiling refund cases was difficult due to recent transfers/postings and change in jurisdiction orders in the FBR.

The KTBA said it was quite challenging for tax officers, tax practitioners and taxpayers to efficiently pursue their cases and conduct the verification of information available in the records of the FBR due to recent changes in jurisdiction / transfer of officers and transfers of tax refund cases within the tax offices.