ISLAMABAD: FBR has surpassed the tax collection target by Rs20 billion for the first seven months (July-January) of the current fiscal year, official data showed on Saturday.

According to the provisional information released by FBR, the board collected net revenue of Rs2.57 trillion during July-January period, which has significantly exceeded the target of Rs2.55 trillion. This represents a growth of about 6.4 percent over the collection of Rs2.41 trillion during the same period last year.

However, the challenge is lying ahead as the FBR will have to collect Rs2.39 trillion in remaining five months (February-June) in order to materialise the desired annual target of Rs4.96 trillion for the current fiscal year of 2020/21. The FBR will have to collect Rs478.6 billion on an average every month in order to achieve the annual target.

The net collection for the month of January was Rs364 billion against a target of Rs340 billion, representing an increase of 12.3 percent over last January and 107 percent of the target. This is the first double-digit monthly growth during the fiscal year.

On the other hand, the gross collections increased from Rs2.46 trillion to Rs2.69 trillion, showing an increase of nearly 10 percent. The amount of refunds was Rs129 billion compared to Rs69 billion paid last year, showing an increase of 87 percent. This is reflective of FBR’s resolve to fast-track refunds to prevent liquidity issues of the industry.

The improved revenue performance is a reflection of growing economic activities in the country despite facing the challenge of second wave of COVID-19. Going forward, it is expected that this revenue performance would be further strengthened as economic recovery gains more momentum.

The FBR is expending serious efforts to broaden the tax base in the country. Early signs suggest such efforts are bearing fruits.

As on 30-1-2021, income tax returns filed numbered 2.52 million compared to 2.31 million last year, showing an increase of 9 percent. The tax deposited with returns was Rs.48.3 billion compared to only Rs.29.6 billion, showing an increase of 63 percent.

Besides, FBR has issued notices to nearly 1.4 million taxpayers, who were supposed to file return, or filed nil return, or mis-declared their assets to comply with their legal obligations.

The exercise is eliciting encouraging response. However, those who are not complying would be pursued diligently until compliance is achieved.

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