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New sales tax registration rules to be issued in next budget

ISLAMABAD (March 29 2003) : The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has decided to issue new sales tax registered rules in budget 2003-04 ensuring error-free compliance by new and registered taxpayers from next financial year.

The CBR intends to make comprehensive changes in the existing registration process (SRO 550(I)/96) in consultation with tax collectors, chambers of commerce and industry and other stakeholders.

Official sources told Business Recorder here on Friday that the date of issuance of new Registration and De-registration Rules, 2003 has been postponed keeping in view comprehensive changes in the registration process to facilitate the taxpayers.

The CBR had earlier decided to issue registration rules in December 2002, whereas the date was later on extended to January, 2003.

The CBR recently issued third revised draft of the 'Registration and De-registration Rules 2003' to provide another opportunity to the business community to comment on the proposed rules before implementation.

There is not much difference between the earlier draft and further amended blueprint of the registration and de-registration rules.

Now, the CBR officials opine that the rules can not be issued in March-April, but these would be definitely notified in the coming budget.

When asked about the harsh provision of blacklisting the taxpayers under the new rules, officials said that blacklisting a registered person is basically not a punishment.

If a person continuously refuses to respond to the notices of sales tax department, it is necessary to check the business activities of such person.

They apprehended that such person may be involved in issuance of flying invoices, which needs to be effectively checked under the new rules.

Under rule 11 of the proposed rules, the Collector may order to blacklist registered person for any of the following reasons and may circulate such orders through electronic and print media in order to protect the interests of public exchequer and other suppliers and buyers:

(a) The registered person is not available at the declared address.

(b) Fails to file return with tax payment and to respond to any notice or provide the requisite information.

(c) Fails to maintain or produce the records required to be maintained or produced under the Act or Rules or instructions issued on the subject.

(d) There is a reasonable doubt that registered person is involved in tax evasion or tax fraud.

(2) Such blacklisted person shall, from the date of blacklisting, cease to be a sales tax registered person for the purposes of the Act till final decision;

Provided that decision about withdrawal of orders for blacklisting or issuance of show-cause notice for cancellation of registration besides any other action under the Act shall be issued to the registered person within ten days of the completion of investigation or submission of requisite documents by such blacklisted registered person.

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