Islamabad: In continuation of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) reforms and modernisation drive, e-payment facility for payment of all FBR taxes, as well as some provincial taxes, has been introduced for convenient and hassle free payment.
According to FBR, on one hand, traders can electronically pay all import duties and taxes through Customs computerized system WeBOC, at ports and border stations across Pakistan. While on the other hand, taxpayers can also electronically pay income tax, sales tax and Federal Excise duty sitting at their homes. E-payment system provides around-the-clock facility to taxpayers and traders to make online payment of customs duties and other FBR taxes, as well as provincial cess on stamp duty. The facility is available through internet and mobile banking, by using more than 15000 ATMs of 16000 Over the Counter (OTC) bank branches of commercial banks spreading across the country.
The taxpayers’ confidence and interest in e-payment is growing fast, and can be gauged from the fact that the proportion of number of e-payments of Income Tax, Sales Tax, and Federal Excise Duty has increased from 6.26 % of total payments during July to December 2019, to 40.5 % during same period of 2020. Similarly, the proportion of amount deposited through these e-payments has increased from 13.55 % of total payments to 76.5 % during the comparative periods.
E-payment facility has greatly helped the traders and other taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic, since all transactions can be completed without physical interaction. Currently, 18.6 % of import duties and taxes are being collected by Pakistan Customs through e-payment system. More than 80,000 consignments. consisting of nearly 22 % of total imports, were cleared in WeBOC through e-payment in the last six months. Apart from major Customs stations, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, the facility is also being availed by importers in remote areas like Taftan and Khunjerab.
FBR urges the traders and other taxpayers to utilise the e-payment facility, as it reduces their cost of doing business and contributes significantly towards improving the ease of doing business. It also expedites the clearance of goods, enhances transparency in the duty payment mechanism, and ensures timely revenue reconciliation. Acknowledging e-payment as a major step towards trade facilitation, World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement also promotes the use of electronic payment methods amongst traders.
FBR has launched an awareness campaign to enhance the use of e-payment facility. In this regard, a number of seminars have been conducted to educate trade bodies and Customs agents about the benefits of e-payment. The traders can also benefit from the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section relating to e-payment available on the WeBOC web page.