KARACHI: The traders opting for voluntary tax compliance scheme (tax amnesty scheme) would be included in the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) within 72 hoursand they would be entitled to all benefits of filers including exemption from withholding tax on banking transactions above Rs50,000 per day.

Existing return filers could also benefit from the scheme. Sales tax registration is  not required for availing the amnesty, however, those traders filing sales tax returns would not be able to benefit from the scheme.

Taxpayers who had been issued notices in past could also benefit from the scheme and scheme does not provide any withholding tax credit though.

Scheme is announced after detailed discussions and deliberations spread over multiple rounds of meetings with representatives of chambers and trade bodies across the country. The scheme is as per aspiration of the traders and business community for promoting a culture of tax compliance in the country, which would also result in broadening the tax base.

The scheme provides traders to whiten their undeclared working capital of up to Rs50 million by paying 1.0 percent tax of the declared working capital in tax year 2015. The non-filers will be those traders who did not file any income tax return over the past 10 years.

For tax year 2016, traders will have to declare turnover at least three times of the working capital declared in tax year 2015. For tax years 2017 and 2018, traders will declare turnover on which tax paid is at least 25 percent more than the tax paid for the preceding year. Traders can also opt for turnover tax for the next three years.

Filers will be those traders who possess National Tax Number and filed one or more income tax returns over the past 10 years. Under this scheme, three options have been proposed for traders. Under the first option, a trader will have to pay 25 percent higher tax than paid in the last return on the basis of taxable income; under the second option, avail himself of three turnover tax slabs; and under the third option, pay a lump sum of Rs30,000 for not paying any tax in the last return.

For tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018, it has been proposed that traders will have to pay 25 percent higher tax than paid in 2015 on the basis of taxable income. They can also opt for the three turnover tax slabs for 2016-18.