FBR decides to launch two new schemes for shopkeepers

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to launch two new schemes, one for small retailers with two slabs of fixed tax amount of Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 on quarterly basis, The News reported.

The government wants to bring millions of small and big shopkeepers into the tax system.

It means that the FBR will come up with fixed tax amount of Rs20,000 and Rs40,000 on per annum basis and there will be no other requirement of meeting other complex taxation requirements for these small retailers. The second scheme for wholesalers will be introduced with turnover of 50 million, 75 million and 100 million and their tax would be fixed on the basis of their annual turnover.

The draft of these two schemes will be released today (Tuesday) for the purpose of getting input from the public while the cabinet will grant approval to these two schemes next week.

When contacted to Chairman FBR Shahbar Zaidi on Monday, he said that they prepared schemes for small retailers but first they would get input from the public before launching this scheme. He said that the number of tax filers stood at from 1.4 million to 2.2 million and first short term objective was to expand it up to 4 million as early as possible.

The sources said that the FBR decided to broaden the narrowed tax base and was eyeing to increase tax net upto 4 million filers by end June 2020 against existing number of tax filers standing at 2.2 million right now.

“The draft of these two schemes will be placed on the FBR’s website for getting input from the public as the FBR will present before the cabinet next week for seeking final approval” FBR’s Member Inland Revenue Policy and official spokesman Dr Hamid Ateeq Sarwar told The News here on Monday.

However, the official sources said that the FBR was making plans to increase one million taxpayers through fixed tax scheme for retailers and simplified tax scheme for wholesalers. The number of taxpayers might go up to 2.5 million till August 2, 2019 till end of the deadline of filing of income tax returns.

These two fixed schemes for small retailers and for wholesalers would add one million taxpayers into system so the total number would touch 3.5 million. “We expect that with the help of other enforcement routine measures the target of expanding the tax net up to 4 million would be achieved by end of the current fiscal year,” said the official.

For mega retailers having 1000 square feet shops in big shopping malls, there will be GST rate of 17 percent from renowned brands shops. In the second tier, the FBR will charge tax on the basis of electricity bills. For small retailers the fixed tax amount of Rs20,000 and Rs40,000 will be charged.

The FBR has been assigned highly ambitious tax collection target of Rs5550 billion in the current fiscal year against provisional collection of Rs3832 billion in the last fiscal year 2018-19, indicating that the Board requires a growth of over 44 percent to materialise its desired target of Rs5.50 trillion.

Without expanding the narrowed tax base, the tall objective of collecting Rs5550 billion cannot be achieved, concluded the official.

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