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Less than 50,000 companies registered with SECP filing taxes: FBR

23 May, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) honorary Chairman Shabbar Zaidi on Wednesday said that less than 50,000 of the 100,000 companies registered with the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) were filing their taxes.

Zaidi, during a news conference, said he had informed the SECP chairman about the situation, and added that the law clearly stated that companies had to pay their taxes irrespective of not having an income or being non-operational.

“I have spoken the SECP chairman. Either he will remove the company, or I will remove it [for him],” Zaidi said.

Announcing an amnesty for industries, the FBR chairman urged industrialists and manufacturers to take advantage of the asset declaration scheme and clear their past sales tax liabilities by paying just two percent tax until June 30, 2019, or the law would take its due course after the expiry of the date.

“A special clause has been included in the asset declaration scheme, which was not included in it earlier, which is that if anybody is having sales tax liability, he or she may clear these by paying just two percent tax,” he said.

The FBR chairman said there were around 341,174 industrial electricity connection and 7,000 industrial gas connections, but the sales tax registration of industries was just 38,937.

“It is my request to all industrial consumers to take advantage of the scheme before June 30 and maybe it (the scheme) does not remain in the same shape after July 1, so the people using industrial utility connections should take advantage,” the FBR chairman added.

Zaidi said that there were possibilities that these industrial connections might include those that come under the cotton industry under law, but there was a dire need to check this huge difference.

“It would be our desire that under the special clause placed in the asset declaration scheme, the industries falling in the category pay two percent to clear past liabilities,” the chairman added.

Zaidi said that after July 1, the FBR would make necessary legislation to get these industries and manufacturers registered, and would also take action. He urged the media to sensitise the people on the issue so that those avoiding clearing their past sales tax liabilities might get registered with the FBR by taking advantage of the amnesty scheme.

He added that the FBR would try its best to make it voluntary, as it wanted to create an environment enabling for businesses.

To a question, the FBR chairman said that there were around 3.1 million commercial consumers, and added that the strategy on how to get the unregistered consumers to get registered with the FBR would be shared with the media.

He said that it was high time for those having industrial connections to get registered with the FBR.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government last week had announced the amnesty scheme, providing one more opportunity to all Pakistani citizens to declare and legalise their undisclosed assets inside and outside the country by paying just four percent tax on all assets other than real estate.

The scheme would be applicable until June 30, and all Pakistan citizens, other than those holding public offices or their dependents, would be able to take benefit from it.

The basic purpose of the scheme was to document the economy and make the dead assets functional to promote the economy by encouraging businessmen to participate in the legal economy.

The FBR chairman also dismissed reports that the law pertaining to accounts being frozen had been changed.

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