RCCI express concerns on FBR raids on business centers

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Rawalpindi: (PR) The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President, Malik Shahid Saleem has stressed upon the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to stop its raids and harassment campaign going on in the country in the garb of tax collection. Despite FBR chief assurances, raids are being carried out on different business centers and Inland Revenue staff took entire record of the companies in custody and harassed the staff, he added. This harassment by FBR is causing fear amongst trade and industry, he said. Harassment should be stopped in the name of revenue collections. Companies and individuals are finding themselves served with audit notices, and then offered the option of paying a nominal penalty to ‘get off the hook’, he added.

Addressing traders meeting at Chamber House, RCCI President said that FBR must facilitate taxpayers and their focus should be on potential tax payers. It is unfortunate on FBR part that instead penalizing non-filers, notices are being served to tax payers (filers).

Malik Shahid warned that such acts from FBR would serve as a disincentive to potential taxpayers to join the tax net and at the same time undermine the governmental efforts of broadening the base through encouragements. Businesses at this stage of time can’t flourish with an environment of fear, harassment and uncertainty, he further added. Pakistan economy is going through tough circumstances, it cannot afford strikes and shutter down, he added.

Malik Shahid Saleem said that RCCI has already taken up this issue with all key stakeholders including Prime Minister Imran Khan and Finance Minister Asad Umar who assured us that reforms will be introduced in FBR and they must treat tax payers with respect.

FBR can work with National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) in identifying potential taxpayers, roughly 3.2 million, he said. There is a need to transform FBR into a technology-driven tax administration as this will help to end harassment in the garb of tax collection through manual systems, he added. To end harassment, RCCI President further suggested that FBR must expedite its reforms process under the administrative measures.

Malik Shahid Saleem expressed hope that FBR will also work as a partner with business community in collection of revenues.

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