Business licensing scheme proposed to detect future taxpayers

KARACHI: The government through Finance Bill 2019 has proposed a business licensing scheme with a view to detect future taxpayers.

Through the proposed Section 181D in Customs Act, 1969, Finance Bill seeks to require every person engaged in any business, profession or vocation to obtain and display a business license as prescribed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).[the_ad id=”31605″]Presently, there is no mechanism for registration of persons earning below taxable limit like, sole proprietorship including but not limited to small shopkeepers, freelancers, professionals including doctors, lawyers, engineers, actuaries, architects etc.

The salient feature provides some explanation about the possible procedure whereby registration with the Board will be done through NADRA E Sahulat Centers. Such registered persons will not be liable to file return of total income.

According to a memorandum issued by Deloitte Pakistan, the purpose of this amendment is to create a database of business, profession or vocation for detecting taxpayers in the future.

It is imperative to note that globally this registration is done by a separate authority responsible for issuance of commercial registration certificate for starting the business.

It may recalled that Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi at meeting with the business community in Karachi had said there was no record or data of shops and industrial units in the country adding, “a comprehensive database was being prepared regarding shops, sales outlets and industrial units, which would be utilized to broaden the tax base”.


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