ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has extended the deadline for filing income tax returns for the second consecutive time from October 31 to November 30, an official said.
Earlier, the date for filing income tax returns was extended from September 30 to October 31, he said, adding that now this deadline has been extended again up to November 30.
“As of today, there is no intend to change mandatory clause for filing wealth statement along with the filing of returns,” Tariq Bajwa, chairman of the FBR, told The News on Wednesday.
At this critical juncture, the FBR has been facing an uphill task of achieving highly ambitious tax collection target of Rs2,475 billion, as well as broadening the tax base.
There is only 0.7 million return filers of the total 180 million population of the country, he said.
However, the FBR chairman said that the revenue body has extended the date to file returns because of Eid holidays and the upcoming holidays on account of Muharram.
Firstly, the FBR considered to extend the date up to November 15 but finally decided to allow filing of returns up to November 30 in order to avoid any excuse on the part of the business community, he said.
When asked whether there was any possibility for withdrawal of the condition of wealth statement along with returns, Bajwa said that as of today there is no such change on the cards.
However, official sources in the FBR said that the tax machinery has received over 711,000 returns in the last financial year. The FBR has envisaged a target to increase the number of return filers by 20 percent during the current fiscal year.
Although, the FBR is sending notices to potential tax dodgers under the performance criteria of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the pace of return filers is simply dismal because non-filers knew its enforcement capacity.
So far, the FBR has not received any significant returns so the tax machinery is left with no other option but to extend the deadline for filing returns, sources said.
However, the sources said that it was long history of the FBR that it took one step ahead and two step back approach that virtually destroy its ability, as well as capacity to document the economy.
The FBR had miserably failed in its endeavours for documentation of the economy on the name of facilitation of taxpayers. The Universal Self-Assessment Scheme (USAS) introduced during the Musharraf regime without conducting a deterrence of audit played havoc with the tax machinery, resulting in increased tax gap in the country.
Source: The NEWS