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Revenue Board to issue Sales Tax Guide shortly

ISLAMABAD (March 29 2004): To facilitate the business community, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) would shortly issue a Sales Tax Guide to explain Sales Tax Act, 1990, in a simple language to the taxpayers.

Sources told Business Recorder here on Sunday that the compendium would clarify SROs, procedures and various sections of the Sales Tax Act, 1990, to guide the taxpayers in better understanding to the sales tax law.

The credit of compiling booklet goes to CBR Member Taxpayer Education and Facilitation (TPE&F) Habib Fakharuddin, who prepared the sales tax guide in consultation with the sales tax department.

Sources said there is a general impression that TPE&F Wing of the CBR has focused much of its attention to taxpayer education and facilitation pertaining to direct taxes and very little effort has been put in to address the issues related to indirect taxes.

However, indirect taxes have not been ignored, and a considerable amount of work has either been completed or is in advance stages of completion.

To highlight some of the initiatives, TPE&F Wing has prepared a document entitled 'Sales Tax Guide', which is ready for publication. It is a brief explanation of the Sales Tax Act, 1990, in a simple language.

The delivery has been made possible by the combined efforts of Sales Tax Wing and TPE&F Wing of the CBR.

Another initiative of vital significance for taxpayer facilitation, undertaken by the TPE&F Wing is the Survey of Taxpayer Facilitation Centers (TFC), based on a standard questionnaire, and information is sought from all the customs and sales tax collectorates and income tax commissionorates regarding the presence of any centre at the collectorate and commissionorate level and provision of services in these centres.

The survey is almost complete though all the collectorates have not responded back. After an analysis using available statistical techniques a brief report on the baseline services and facilities available in these TFC will be published shortly.

Recently, an exercise to standardise Sales Tax Business Processes has begun. The objective would be to analyse the processes of registration, audit, refund and adjudication as followed all over the country, and to see if there is any deviation from the adoption of standard procedure.

The standard procedures for these business processes would then be devised and published for taxpayer education as well as tax collectors information. Similarly, the work on Taxpayer Charter, including their rights and obligations is in progress.

Sources said probably the problem is for the lack of communication between TPE&F Wing and field officers.

The CBR recognises that the collectorates in their day to day interaction with the taxpayers and the emerging needs to deal with their problems are in a better position to highlight what taxpayers' requirements are.

The collectorates have developed various methods and techniques to address such issues and facilitate taxpayers by redressing their complaints and grievances. Unfortunately, these experiences have not been shared with the TPE&F Wing.

The collectorates should share their individual efforts with the Board to achieve the greater objective of taxpayer education and facilitation.

The co-ordination between the CBR and collectorates would create an environment of teamwork and would bring in synergy into the system.

Sources also said the CBR has asked the field formation that brief details of any such work involving taxpayer education and facilitation undertaken individually or collectively by any officer or collectorate may be communicated to TPE&F Wing.

Any suggestions, recommendations or identification of areas and issues where the field officers feel there is need to work upon, should be submitted to the TPE&F Wing.

In this regard, a senior level officer in the collectorate may be nominated to communicate with TPE&F Wing on all the relevant issues, they added.

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