The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has received a record number of returns along with the highest ever amount of income tax at the time of filing. A total of nearly 1.8 million returns have been filed together with an amount of approximately Rs.22 billion. Last year at this time, 1.73 million returns were filed while about 13.5 billion were deposited as income tax. Comparatively, the returns are higher by 4% and tax deposited is higher by 63%.
It is important to note that the government had decided not to extend the final date of 8 December 2020 with the aim to restore the credibility and predictability of the final date and to promote tax discipline. However, to ensure that no hardship is faced by taxpayers, a number of special measures were adopted. These include liberal acceptances of requests for extension in filing date as available under the law, provision to file requests manually besides the on-line facility, enabling tax practitioners/advisors to file a single request for multiple clients, enabling chief commissioners to set-up special desks for collection of manual requests and sorting jurisdiction at their level.
The above measures have encouraged a large number of taxpayers to file extension requests which are being granted. It is estimated that at least 300,000 taxpayers have made use of this facility, thus taking the number of potential returns to 2.1 million, which is 21% higher compared to last year until this date.
It is further clarified that the process of filing is continuing unabated. A comparison with the returns of last year at the close of dead-line, which was 30 June 2020, would be meaningful only when the number of additional returns to be filed until 30 June 2021 would be available.
FBR commends the determination of taxpayers and the support it received from members of Tax Bars from all over the country, who have made such record setting returns and income tax payment possible. The results establish that the decision to not allow a general extension in the last date would go a long way toward re-establishing much needed trust and credibility of the tax system. FBR has also decided to immediately roll-out action against the taxpayers who neither have filed tax returns nor sought permission for extension.
FBR had achieved this feat only because of the dedicated efforts of its chairman, its members, its field formations and the new IT team that has ensured that there was no major problem with its automated system of tax filings.
Currently, the FBR is working in accordance with the vision of the Prime Minister who has given top priority to the automation of all FBR processes. The guidance and support provided by the PM’s Advisor on Finance and SAPM revenue have also played an important role in registering this performance.