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CBR relaxes two conditions of income tax return form

ISLAMABAD (September 16 2003): After getting approval from Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has relaxed two major conditions of the income tax return form for the benefit of traders' community.

Member Direct Taxes and Spokesman of Central Board of Revenue Vakil Ahmed Khan told Business Recorder here on Monday that the CBR has issued a directive to Regional Commissioners of Income Tax (RCITs) that traders may leave the columns pertaining to the books of accounts and undertaking in the return fulfilling a major demand of business community.

The traders were protesting to give written assurance pertaining to the maintenance of books of accounts and undertaking.

On this issue, the CBR took up the matter with the Finance Minister, who ordered removal of these columns to facilitate the business community.

Member Direct Taxes further said that the CBR welcomes the traders' associations and we are ready to provide as many copies of the said decision as required by them.

He pointed out that when traders' demanded of the CBR's to give written assurance in the previous meeting, it was clarified that the Finance Minister is the competent authority and CBR could not issue written instructions on their own.

The CBR also offered to constitute a committee to meet Shaukat Aziz along with the CBR officials for immediate resolution of the issue.

When asked that business community has still some apprehensions that the income tax assessing officers would continue demanding bribes under the Universal Self Assessment Scheme (USAS), Vakil categorically denied such charges and said that there is no role of assessing officers under the new income tax law pertaining to USAS.

Whatever a taxpayer would file would be accepted under USAS and receipt issued to the taxpayer would be considered as an 'assessment order'.

The CBR issued the circular on Friday (September 12) on the demand of business community, Vakil added.

APP adds: Vakil Ahmad Khan in an interview with APP on Monday said that in the new forms the CBR has also allowed several other facilities and relief to the tax payers.

He said that if the tax payers make mistake or fill short amount while filling returns the same will not be subject to the audit, but the authority will ask the tax payers through a letter to provide the relevant information in the stipulated period.

Replying to a question he said that during the last financial year about 0.15 million tax payers were included in the audit while this year the CBR will select only 35,000 to 40,000 returns forms for audit which is 'five percent of the total.

Replying to question he said filing of income tax return, is the legal obligation of taxpayers and who-so-ever violates it, will be dealt with, according to law.

To another question he said that 2% turn over tax was imposed on the demand of traders which was applicable for the past three years.

It is worth mentioning that the total income tax collected from the traders community is about Rs 4 billion which is only three percent of the total collection while the rest 97% tax is collected from taxpayers who are not traders.

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