PTBA demands immediate stop of PRAL network for tax system

KARACHI: Tax fraternity has advised the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to stop working of automated tax system – developed by Pakistan Revenue Automation (Pvt) Limited (PRAL) – forthwith as it has failed to facilitate taxpayers as well as tax officials.
Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) while expressing concerns and disappointment in the current FBR system of granting Sales Tax Registration. The present system is cumbersome, difficult and very time consuming. It takes at an average 2-3 months to get Sales Tax Registration for a manufacturing concern. Change in profile of taxpayers who are Sales Tax Registered takes months. The present system is taxpayer unfriendly instead of user friendly and encourages unethical practices to facilitate Sales Tax Registration.
PTBA demanded that a simple and quick system of Sales Tax Registration be put in place. “It seems that either PRAL does not understand the serious difficulties that a potential Sales Tax payer is facing in getting Sales tax registration or PRAL takes pride in the cumbersome Sales Tax Registration process that has been put in place.
If immediate steps are not taken to simplify the Sales tax Registration process, we see the number of Sales Tax Registered person in the country to remain at current numbers of less than 100,000,” PTBA said.
Further, Pakistan Tax Bar Association expresses it serious concerns in the difficulties that the Tax Professionals and Taxpayers are facing in getting issues resolved from PRAL; be it Income Tax or Sales Tax or FED issues. PRAL is not responding to the needs to the taxpayers.
FBR/PRAL needs to set up at Regional hubs immediately, so that PRAL related issues if not in three days then should be resolved in five working days.
It is very much appreciated by all the concerned that the First Initial Draft SRO in respect of Tax Forms was issued well in time on the 01st July, 2014 “BUT OF NO USE” as more than two months. The current IT backbone of the FBR is provided through PRAL and this system is not responding to the needs of the nation.
It is full of problems; Sales Tax data cannot be properly feed, Sales Tax Refunds cannot be processed due to system faults etc, cross matching of Custom, Sales Tax, Income Tax data and data mining is either not possible or very cumbersome fraudulent Sales Tax Refunds are not detected in time
PTBA,Field offices of FBR and business community would say that over 70 percent of the current problems being faced at operational level of FBR is due to PRAL and its non-dynamic software platform.
It is suggested that this IT system development should be outsourced on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. This should comprise of a world class network system and have access to state-of-the-art IT infrastructure. A requisite inbuilt feature of the system should be that it should be scalable to offer ease of access across tax administration
and taxpayers. The network should facilitate transactions, akin to securities markets, and establish secure and seamless logistics of tax collection through integration of primary information, record keeping, dissemination and retrieval with a database of all tax payments and refunds. Data mining software associated with such relational databases will allow a quick and systematic identification of non-compliance and abuses, thereby helping to improve compliance.
The PTBA requested the indulgence and urgent intervention of the FBR in resolving these issues to facilitate the genuine taxpayers the Country. have gone but the Tax Return Forms still contain so many ambiguities for which PTBA also expresses it serious concerns that the Income Tax Returns for Tax Year 2014 have still not been put on-line for e-filing on FBR e-portal.
Some of the Returns were due by 31 August and remaining by 30 September. This inordinate delay is a serious cause of concern and will the work plan of our members and also impact the tax collection of the nation.

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