LAHORE – Audit Policy 2016 of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has the flaws that must be removed to address the genuine reservations of the business community.

The point was raised at the meeting of Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) Standing Committee on Finance, Taxation & Sales Tax here at the LCCI. During the meeting, various issues including budget proposals, sales tax and income tax registration, establishment of help desk and complicated taxation system also came under discussion.

LCCI Vice President Nasir Hameed said that lack of consultation on policy matter is one of the biggest reasons of trust gap between the business community and the government. He said the FBR could attract more tax returns through policy reforms. He further said that the philosophy of considering fines and penalties as revenue measure is not logical and should be reconsidered.

On the occasion, LCCI former vice president Kashif Anwar said the FBR would have to satisfy business community on the Audit Policy 2016 which was announced without any consultation.

He suggested that conducting audit of salaried persons having no any other source of income should be excluded as tax is withheld and deposited by the employer. He said that the cases of – Final Tax Regime Dividend Income, Bank Interest and Rental Income etc – should be excluded from audit.

He said that such incomes which are exempt from tax like Foreign Remittances and Agricultural Income should not be audited. He said that share of partners in case of Association of Person (AOP)/Partnership Firm where there is no any other income of partner should also be an exclusion from audit. He said that businesses whose audit has been carried out in last three years should not be considered for audit.

Convener of the Standing Committee on Finance, Taxation & Sales Tax Tanvir Ahmad Sufi said that the committee has decided to invite all the chief commissioners one by one to take up important matters of the business community. He urged the FBR to establish a help desk at LCCI for Sales Tax Registration, Income Tax Registration and Change of particulars etc.

The committee members said that assessment mechanism should be established by the FBR. They said that local investors should be encouraged in China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC) and a well-balanced Federal Industrial Policy should be formulated in this regard.