Sales tax refunds worth Rs8.74bn released to export sector

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Saturday said it had released sales tax refunds amounting Rs8.74 billion against the claims it received from export-oriented sectors.

The FBR has issued an advice to the State Bank of Pakistan for making the payment of sales tax refunds to facilitate the exports,” a statement by the tax authority said.

The FBR has not issued any sales tax refunds during the current fiscal year, creating liquidity problems for the exporters.

However, the revenue body issued the refunds after the meeting of Finance Minister Asad Umar with the members of Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce and Industry (OICCI). It must be mentioned that OICCI members’ refunds worth Rs59 billion were stuck with the FBR unti recently.

The FBR statement said the latest payment would benefit 739 claimants from five export-oriented zero-rated sectors i.e. textiles, carpets, leather, sports goods, and surgical instruments.

The FBR issued the refunds on the basis of 4,117 Refund Payment Order (RPOs) issued up to November 2018.

In order to ensure transparency in sales tax refunds the FBR launched the electronic mode of transfer in the last fiscal year. The instant payment has also been made electronically and will be transferred directly to the claimants’ bank accounts. The SBP will transfer the amount to claimants’ bank accounts by the close of banking hours on Monday, November 12, 2018.

The FBR said the payments had been made to all those claimants of five categories of export sector, who had provided their bank account details in IBAN format.

“Those refund claimants who have not provided account number in IBAN format have been advised to provide the same through their user ID on FBR’s web portal,” the statement said.

Further, it added that the FBR was conscious of the problems being faced by the businesses on account of outstanding refunds and is working on plan to pay remaining outstanding refund claims at the earliest.

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