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Taxpayers filing incomplete returns to get letters not notices

ISLAMABAD (April 28 2004): Instead of issuing statutory income tax notices to the business community, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has directed Regional Commissioners of Income Tax (RCITs) to issue letters to those taxpayers who have filed incomplete income tax returns under the Universal Self Assessment Scheme (USAS).

The CBR has given May 31, 2004, as deadline to complete the exercise in all major cites of the country.

The instruction to the RCITs reads as follows:

“Generate and dispatch letters to the taxpayers regarding deficiencies found in their returns of total income for the tax year 2003”.

Sources told Business Recorder here on Tuesday that only incomplete documents or information would be demanded from the taxpayers. However, the letters would specify that the returns have been accepted under USAS and tax assessments would not be changed under Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

CBR only wants that the deficiencies in returns be removed. For example, if a person has not given name/father's name etc, they would be asked to submit the requisite information.

Sources said that even if taxpayers did not respond to these letters, the RCITs would not take any action against them.

However, in July 2004, the RCITs will again issue letters to the taxpayers to submit the requisite information in the next return to be filed for tax year 2004. Otherwise, such incomplete income tax returns would not be accepted under USAS.

When asked whether the letters to the taxpayers would be drafted in the strict language, sources said: “No, the letters would be in a polite language requesting the taxpayers to submit the required information”.

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