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Increase in revenue linked to broadening tax base

Increase in revenue linked to broadening tax base

KARACHI: The government wants to generate more revenue, but it avoids widening tax base that is said to barely cover 0.30 per cent of the population, said former Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) president Anwar Kashif Mumtaz.
He was addressing a seminar by the KTBA on “Finance Act 2014” and attended by tax practitioners and consultants in great number. He said that the government opted to introduce multiple categories with varied rates in the Act instead of broadening tax base.
Mumtaz, who was the keynote speaker at the event, pointed out that to improve government’s cash flow, distinctions between tax filer and non-filers had been established in the Act. A non-filer will have to pay an extra or enhanced tax rate by up to 5 percent.
However, he was critical that the burden to identify filer and non-filers rests upon withholding agents or bank. It is also mandatory that even if a person had paid tax or had National Tax Number, their names should appear on taxpayers’ list, he said.
Citing another example where government’s motive is only to increase tax collection, Mumtaz said that tax on bonus shares paid in kind will now be subjected to income tax. He said this is totally against the spirit of Section 158 of the Income Tax Ordinance because there is no element of payment.
He said the excess of alternate corporate tax paid over the corporate tax shall be carried forward and adjusted against the tax payable for the following years.
If excess tax is not fully absorbed in the following years, it can be carried forward to ten years immediately from the excess first computed.