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Sales Tax registration made easy for new traders

ISLAMABAD (October 22 2003): To bring maximum businessmen into the GST net the government has relaxed a number of conditions for new sales tax registration.

The authorities have amended ruling 21/2003 pertaining to 'New Sales Tax Registration' and have issued instructions to collectorates of sales tax here on Tuesday.

Official sources told Business Recorder that the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has withdrawn the condition of submission of bank certificate showing financial worth of business concern for new applicants.

Moreover, the persons starting new business are no more required to submit income tax assessment orders for last two years.

The condition of verification of applicant's National Identity Card (ID) from National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) is no more. In this connection, old ID cards would be acceptable up to December 31, 2003.

The CBR has also withdrawn the condition of mandatory declaration of home addresses and details of property by fresh applicants.

Only individuals and partnership firms would submit these details to the sale tax department.

However, the condition of declaration of business address, (including addresses of head office, manufacturing/business premises, branch office, godowns etc) in the application form would remain intact.

The CBR has directed collectors that in case of new business, initial capital declaration will be considered as financial worth of the prospective business, and will be scrutinised/verified at the time of physical survey of the premises.

Similarly, for new business which has neither maintained a bank account nor submitted an income tax return, a declaration would be sufficient.

However, such applicants must provide the certificate from banks where accounts have been opened mentioning the ID card number and the address of the account holder, the CBR said.

The new National Tax Number (NTN) obtained from the Income Tax Department or proof of submission of application to obtain NTN will be mandatory.

The CBR has further ordered that the issuance of registration certificate should not be withheld for verification of applicant's ID card in case of manufacturers, service providers and retailers.

The verification process may be carried out after issuance of registration certificates to the new applicants. The old ID cards would be accepted up to December 31, 2003.

The business community had also contested another condition of certificate of the membership of the Federation of Commerce and Industry or any other association/trade body. However, this condition would remain intact as per new procedure of sales tax registration, sources added.

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