ISLAMABAD : President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce &
Industry (ICCI) Muhammad Ahmed Waheed has called upon the Federal Board of
Revenue (FBR) to expedite the payment of refunds in compliance with the
commitment of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.The ICCI president said that undue
delay in the payment of outstanding income tax, sales tax and customs duty refunds
is creating liquidity issues for the business community and affecting the
promotion of business activities. He said that income tax refunds of the
business community have been pending with FBR since 2014-15 and despite the
commitment of the government and SBP to clear them, their payment is being
delayed, which is unjustified.
Waheed said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has
taken a very positive step by announcing a relief package to address the issue
of refunds, but still a large accumulated amount of refunds is stuck up with
FBR which was a major issue for the business community.
He said that field officers of FBR have done assessment of many refund cases, processed them and issued their RPOs (refund payment orders), but still taxpayers have not received them, which is unfortunate. He said that trade and industrial activities are adversely affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic due to which the business community is facing great financial problems and it is the right time for FBR to clear all outstanding refunds for addressing the liquidity issues of the business community.The ICCI president said that regional chief commissioners of FBR have processed many cases of income tax refunds after due assessment and have submitted them to FBR Headquarter, but the taxpayers are still waiting for their receipt in their bank accounts. He urged that chairman FBR should take personal interest in this serious matter and pass on orders for immediate clearance of all refunds including income tax, sales tax and customs duty refunds that would address the financial problems of the business community and help them in reviving business activities leading to enhanced tax revenue for the government.He further said in case clearance of all accumulated refunds was not possible for FBR due to any reason, it should consider ICCI proposal for allowing adjustment of payable taxes against outstanding refunds, which would be a win-win arrangement as it would reduce the financial liabilities of the business community and improve the tax revenue of the government.