Saturday December 03, 2022

Returns, income tax paid hit all-time high

December 10, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Income tax returns received by the end of the filing date increased 4 percent to 1.8 million, while collected amount surged 63 percent to Rs22 billion over last year, the highest ever, mostly owing to improved compliance and an upgraded system, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said on Wednesday.

The FBR said the government had decided not to extend the last return-filing date of December 8, 2020 with a view to restore the credibility and predictability of the final date and promote tax discipline, which worked.

Last year at this time, 1.73 million returns were filed, while about 13.5 billion were deposited as income tax.

The FBR said to ensure the taxpayers faced no hardship it introduced a number of special measures including: liberal acceptance of requests for extension in filing date as available under the law, provision to file requests manually besides the online facility, enabling tax practitioners/advisers to file a single request for multiple clients, and empowering the chief commissioners to set up special desks for collection of manual requests and sorting their jurisdiction at their level.

It said the above measures encouraged a large number of taxpayers to file extension requests, which were being granted.

"It is estimated that at least 300,000 taxpayers utilised this facility, thus taking the number of potential returns to 2.1 million, 21 percent higher than last year until this date," the tax authority said and clarified the process of filing was going on unabated.

A comparison with last year’s returns at the close of the deadline, June 30, 2020, will be meaningful when the number of additional returns to be filed until June 30, 2021 is available.

The FBR commended the determination of taxpayers as well as the support of the members of nationwide tax bars for making the filing of such record returns and payments possible.

"This achievement establishes the decision to not to grant a general extension in the last date has gone a long way toward re-establishing much needed trust and credibility of the tax system," the FBR said and added," It has also decided to immediately take action against those taxpayers, who neither filed tax returns nor sought permission for extension”.

The FBR attributed the dedicated efforts of its chairman, members, its field formations and the new IT team that left no stone unturned to ensure the smooth functioning of its automated system so that filers face no major issues.

The apex tax authority concluded its statement saying it is working in accordance with the vision of the Prime Minister, who has given top priority to the automation of all FBR processes.