KARACHI: Sales tax levy on imported goods soared 69 percent on the hefty March import bill, officials said.
A source at the Karachi Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) said sales tax collection at the import stage in March 2021 grew to Rs103 billion. That compared with Rs61 billion in the same month last year, when the Covid-related lockdown led to a shutdown of economic activity.
The increase in under-the-head levies is largely due to the acceleration of economic activity over the past few months which has boosted demand for imported raw materials and finished goods.
The March 2021 import bill also increased, swelling 60 percent to $ 5.31 billion in the month under review. That compared with $ 3.32 billion in the same month last year.
Sales tax collection for the first nine months (July-March) of the current fiscal year increased 11 percent to Rs631 billion. That compared with Rs571 billion in the same months of the last fiscal year.
The country’s import bill totaled $ 39.21 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year compared with $ 34.82 billion at the same time last fiscal year, indicating 12.6 percent growth.
LTO Karachi, the principal revenue collection agency of the Federal Revenue Council (FBR), has jurisdiction for reporting sales tax on imported goods collected by the customs office located in Karachi.
Preliminary figures show all tax collectors posted a significant increase in their revenue collection for the period.
Sales tax collection by the Port Qasim Collectorate increased to Rs279 billion during July – March 2020/2021 compared to Rs252 billion in the same months in the previous fiscal year.
Likewise, collections by the Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) Appraisement (East) increased to Rs195 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year compared to Rs177 billion in the corresponding months of the previous fiscal year.
Likewise, MCC Appraisement West’s collection grew to Rs102 billion during the period under review compared to Rs92 billion collected in the same period last fiscal year.