ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has asked the government to facilitate the taxpayers to increase tax base of the country.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce Industry (ICCI), emphasised the government to improve the taxation system to increase the number of taxpayers instead of putting more burden on the existing taxpayers. He said that the business community is contributing significantly in the tax revenue generation and as a result this year FBR achieved a historic level of tax revenues of Rs.4732 billion in 2020-21 – surpassing the target of Rs 4691b which is 18% higher than last year.
President ICCI said that the government should fully automate the taxation system to reduce people to people contact and take initiatives to make the taxation system easier for the taxpayers. He said that businessmen are paying huge amount of taxes but their contribution to the economy is not acknowledged and they are also not incentivized accordingly. Sardar Yasir said that with easing out of the taxation system and giving incentives to taxpayers, the tax net could be increased manifolds which would also help in releasing the pressure on the existing taxpayers.
He said that in order to incentivize the taxpayers and to increase the tax base, the government should allow self-assessment programs and mechanism, in which people would be willing to pay taxes based on their own comfort level. He added this will allow several taxpayers to become a part of the tax net which will increase the tax base.
He said that Islamabad Chamber of Commerce Industry has been recommending to the government time and again for introducing the fixed tax policy linked with self-assessment scheme, which was the only way to decrease the trust deficit. The president said that the POS system is unfortunately creating distrust among the traders which were installed in good faith, and recommended that government through chambers of commerce and industry should take the business community on board and FBR must conduct seminars to give orientation to taxpayers for filing tax returns, Weboc system and several other aspects etc.
President ICCI stressed that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should facilitate the taxpayers by introducing special counters for business community at airports, NADRA, CDA, RDA and important government departments to give them priority and preferential treatment. He further suggested that the government should also introduce special cards like Gold, Silver and Platinum for different slabs of taxpayers to give them respect and treatment like Federal Ministers.
President ICCI said that for better and sustainable outcome of policies, the government should keep the Chambers of Commerce and Industry Associations in loop in the consultative process. He assured the cooperation of the business community to the government for achieving the next year’s tax revenue targets. However, he emphasized that FBR should be businessmen friendly and provide incentives to taxpayers and make timely payments of refund cases.