UNIVERSAL e-FILING OF SALES TAX RETURNS: FBR APPRECIATES EXCELLENT RESPONSE OF TAXPAYERS.
Response of business community to FBR’s landmark decision of mandatory electronic filing of Sales Tax Returns has been excellent. The measure aims at requiring the registered persons to file their declarations electronically at FBR’s website, without going through the hassle of making long queues in front of banks for paying sales tax and submitting the returns. For creating awareness about the smooth implementation of the e-filing, FBR conducted seminars in all the major cities, in coordination with representative trade bodies. Alive to the fact that initial phase of such a remarkable step towards automation would entail problems of comprehension and awareness, FBR adopted a proactive approach at the highest level for redressal of problems and removal of difficulties. For this purpose, Member (Sales Tax & FE) Mr. Abdul Wadood Khan visited the offices of FPCCI Karachi, LCCI, Faisalabad Textile Export Association, tax bodies and different RTOs at Lahore last week to ascertain from the taxpayers the problems being faced by them with a view to taking corrective action. The salient features of the scheme were explained and the leaders of the business community were asked to provide list of registered persons facing hardship in e-filing so that difficulties, if any, are removed forthwith.
The business community and the e-Intermediaries have shown an overwhelming response and so far 44,309 taxpayers have obtained e-Enrollment at FBR Portal and 32,296 taxpayers have filed their Sales Tax Returns electronically from their offices/ homes using internet. All remaining taxpayers are either in the process of e-enrollment or preparation of electronic returns.
For providing telephonic help in using the system a contact centre, which operates round the clock (24 Hrs), is also established at (051) 111-772-772. The taxpayers are also provided assistance through e-Mails which are received at eSupport@pral.com.pk. For those taxpayers who have difficulty in working on the eFBR Portal due to internet or power problem, FBR has established self service Kiosks and operator assisted help desks in the Regional Tax Offices. In addition to the arrangements described above, a data centre with high speed bandwidth of internet has been established with an adequate setup of computer equipment to handle the e-filing. The high speed band width arranged by is expanded automatically on need basis; where as the maximum bandwidth utilized by the taxpayers during this month is 40 Mbps.
Keeping in view the learning curve of taxpayers and large scale change management from paper based filing of returns to e-Filing, FBR has extended the last date of e-Filing of sales Tax returns to 31st August 2008.