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Banks to accept sales tax returns with old numbers

LAHORE (July 16 2005): The Central Board of Revenue (CBR), with the co-operation of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), has redressed the complaints of registered persons regarding submission of sales tax returns at various branches of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

In pursuance of the advice from the CBR and SBP, the NBP head office has sent a letter to all branches of NBP directing them to receive sales tax returns, without any condition, Muhammad Nazim Saleem, Collector of Sales Tax and Central Excise, Lahore, told Business Recorder on Friday. Earlier, taxpayers had complained that various NBP branches, despite issuance of circular on July 12 were not accepting ST returns from taxpayers having old nine-digit registration numbers issued by the CBR in 1998-1999.

In Lahore, till Thursday, various NBP branches were not accepting sales tax returns, saying that they would receive returns only with newly issued 13-digit registration numbers.

According to traders and business community, it was unfair, as CBR had issued a circular on July 12 clarifying that returns with old registration numbers were acceptable, with the condition of submission of NTN numbers, to the collectorate concerned.

A businessman of McLeod Road Auto Market told this scribe that despite clear directions of CBR, a number of NBP branches in the provincial capital had declined to receive ST returns with old registration numbers.

The traders had also demanded of the CBR to extend the date of submission of returns from July 15 so that the taxpayers could have enough time to get the new registration numbers and submit the returns without any penalty, he added. He said that after July 15, the sales tax department would charge Rs 100 per day as penalty, while after July 30, the penalty is Rs 5,000, he said.

When contacted, Collector Nazim Saleem said that the complaint was genuine as some NBP bank branches were not accepting the returns, but the CBR with the co-operation of SBP and NBP has settled the problem and now the NBP has sent a letter to all branches, asking them to accept the returns without any condition from the taxpayers. Now the problem is over and the taxpayers can submit their returns without any hassle, he added.

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