No penalty on sales tax returns till October 25

ISLAMABAD (October 19 2004): The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has waived additional tax and penalty on the late filing of sales tax returns by the international freight forwarders during June-September 2004.

This is subject to filing of all outstanding sales tax returns by October 25, 2004. The CBR has given exemption of additional tax/penalty for the months of June, July, August and September 2004.

The CBR has amended SRO 621(I)/2004 through SRO (I)/2004 issued here on Monday.

In another decision, four categories of shipping agents including non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC), international freight forwarders, slot carriers and consolidators will pay Rs 200 as excise duty on every “house bill of lading” issued by them from June 12, 2004.

The CBR has also announced that international freight forwarders will pay sales tax only against those 'house bills of lading' which are negotiated with the bank.

The Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Council had made the following three requests to the Board:

1. Last date of submission of tax return for June, July, August and September, 2004, be extended till October 25, 2004, so that they should not be overburdened with additional tax and penalty payable due to late filing of return.

2. The Board should clarify that CED @ Rs 200 per 'House Bill of Lading' is payable only in respect of those 'House Bills of Lading' which are negotiated in the bank.

3. The notification, SRO 621(I)/2004 of July 17, 2004, whereby rate of CED in respect of NVOCCs, International Freight Forwarders, Consolidators and Slot Carriers was reduced from standard rate of 15 percent to Rs 200 per 'House Bill of Lading' be given effect from June 12, 2004 (Budget day).

The CBR after examining the requests, through a notification, has granted the international freight forwarders an exemption/waiver from additional tax and penalty accrued due to late filing of tax returns for the months of June, July, August and September, 2004 under section 34A of the Sales Tax Act, 1990.

The CBR through SRO(I)/2004 has also given retrospective effect to its earlier notification SRO 621(I)/2004 of July 17, 2004, as requested by the Council for International Freight Forwarders.

As regards IFF Council's request for clarification regarding chargeability of sales tax on negotiable 'House Bills of Lading' only, the CBR has also clarified that central excise duty @ Rs 200 per 'House B/L' shall be collected only against those House B/Ls, which were negotiated in the bank.

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