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Islamabad Chamber calls for simplification of tax system to increase revenues

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCCI) on Saturday demanded the government to simplify tax system in order to facilitate business growth and augment tax revenues.

The ICCI organised a pre-budget consultative session to seek budget proposals from the local business community.

The members acknowledged that tax rates in Pakistan were relatively high and need to be rationalised to help broaden the tax net. They said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has increased property value and government should also reduce tax on trade of property from the existing 2 per cent to 1pc for non-filers and from 1pc to 0.5pc for filers.

The speakers suggested the State Bank of Pakistan to remove ban on advance payments on imports which are negatively affecting business activities in the country. The business community of Islamabad also maintained that government should impose tax on profits instead of imposing them on revenues.

They said the FBR also needs to streamline its audit process and conduct audits every 3-5 years.

President ICCI Ahmed Hassan Moughal, presiding over the session, said that the complicated tax system is a major hurdle in promoting tax culture and improving tax revenues.

While Rafat Farid, senior vice president ICCI, said that the tax difference between the federal and provincial levels has created unnecessary hurdles for the business community and emphasised that government should introduce a uniform tax system across the country. He said the government should ensure better benefits and incentives for taxpayers to promote tax filing and expand tax base of the economy.

Chairman ICCI Tax Committee Naeem Siddiqui said that general sales tax in Pakistan is high and has emerged as a major impediment in promoting business activities.

He suggested the government should bring it down to single digit in next budget

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