Corporate, Political, Government Corruption News in Pakistan

FBR bags Rs580b, but falls short by Rs70b  

ISLAMABAD: There were no surprises as data compiled by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) showed that the tax machinery fell short of its first-quarter collection target by a whopping Rs70 billion, forcing the government to further increase general sales tax (GST) rate on high speed diesel to an unprecedented level of 50%. The government increased the rate of GST from 45% to 50% to collect an additional Rs7 billion in revenues. It is the third such raise in as many months aimed at minimising the gap between revenue collection and target. However, the shortfall is yet to be bridged. Despite applying arm-twisting tactics and obtaining about Rs20 billion advances from various institutions, the FBR could bag only Rs580 billion in taxes from July through September, according to provisional data compiled by the authorities. The collection was a mere 7.8% or Rs42 billion higher than the collection in July-September of 2014, indicating the increases in tax rates were still not yielding the desired results and the government eeded to introduce administrative changes. Income tax returns Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday announced an extension in the deadline to file income tax returns by a month, revising it to October 31. The change comes due to Eid holidays in September and FBR’s inability to resolve technical glitches in electronic filing of income tax returns. Coupled with this extension also came pushing ahead the deadline to implement 0.6% withholding tax on all banking transactions by another month. The current rate, on transactions valued at over Rs50,000, is 0.3%. The standard rate of 0.6%, which the government had reduced by half through a Presidential Ordinance till September 30, aimed at encouraging people to file returns. The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet gave the extension on the reduced rate till October 31, said Dar who is also the ECC chairman. People were complaining that they were unable to file income tax returns due to problems in e-filing.


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