ISLAMABAD: In a major development to meet World Bank requirements, the Federal Revenue Council (FBR) and four provincial revenue authorities have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to move towards placing one General Sales Tax (GST) return / portal for goods and services.
Currently there are only three differences between FBR and province, including the definition of services, origin and purpose of services and all stakeholders reiterate that this issue will be resolved amicably. It was a milestone reached today between FBR and the province to introduce a single GST return on goods and services, they said. The officials said that the National Tax Council is working to develop consensus on the definition of goods and services and they have asked for proposals from four provinces, then the Center will also be combined to define goods and services clearly. They said it was hoped all outstanding issues would be resolved by consensus.
The top official source said that FBR and the province have agreed to put in place a unified portal and that returns and workable solutions will be found to facilitate taxpayers.
Taxpayers used to file five returns each month for GST on goods and services but now with harmonization, taxpayers will file single returns on one portal. GST harmonization is one of the main conditions of a World Bank loan but will also facilitate taxpayers to apply for only one GST return instead of five per month.
When contacted, the PM’s Special Assistant for Revenue Dr Waqar Masood said that PM Imran Khan’s vision is being implemented today. He said that all stakeholders have decided to develop a consensus on all issues for the improvement of the tax system in the country.
On behalf of FBR, the Memorandum of Understanding is signed by the chairman of FBR while all provincial revenue authorities sign the document on behalf of their respective departments. Representatives from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority (KPRA) and the Balochistan Revenue Authority (BRA) were physically present at the ceremony while representatives from the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) and Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) participated virtually via zoom.
While addressing the occasion, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Revenue, Dr. Waqar Masood Khan said that the signing of the document was another step towards finalizing the prime minister’s vision of making the FBR fully automated. “This step will make it easier for taxpayers and will be very helpful in increasing the country’s position in the ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’,” he added.
SAPM on Revenue further adds that now business-related people only need to file one sales tax return instead of multiple returns. He further said that this step will help simplify the taxation system and procedures. He expressed his commitment that other problems currently existing between FBR and the provincial revenue authority would soon be resolved, which in turn would provide convenience to the business world. The chairman of the FBR said that the facilitation of this MoU would make it easier for taxpayers and would lead to simplification of the tax system and related procedures. SAPM on Revenue congratulates the chairman of FBR, head of the Provincial Revenue Authority, and the FBR Policy Wing Team on achieving this significant milestone.