FBR Approves Tax Policy Unit to Improve Taxation System in Pakistan
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, chaired the 5th meeting of the FBR Policy Board at Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Headquarters in Islamabad today.
FBR made a presentation regarding the establishment of the Tax Policy Unit according to the decision of the Cabinet on 29 November 2018.
Members of the Policy Board gave valuable input highlighting the advantages of keeping tax policy function independent of the administrative function.
The decision to create a tax policy unit (TPU) within the Domain of Revenue Division for making the tax policy of the country had been taken in January, highly-placed government officials had told Propakistani.
After due deliberation, the Chair accorded approval for the establishment of the ‘Tax Policy Unit’ under the administrative control of the Finance Division.
Officials had said at the time of the decision that the Rules of Business 1973 assign the business of tax policy to the Revenue Division. It also empowers the Revenue Division in the matter of revenue administration.
The Revenue Division was given the task to formulate a tax policy in consultation with the ministries and divisions, while the FBR will perform the final function.
Now, with the approval of the Policy Board, a new setup would be created that will include members from FBR and also engage fiscal and economic experts from academia, think tanks, and private sector to present holistic proposals for mobilizing revenue generation with greater autonomy.
TPU would work out policy recommendations for domestic tax collection on the lines of the National Tariff Commission, which operates under the Ministry of Commerce.
FBR’s Technical Committee apprised the Policy Board regarding the measures taken to identify anomalies and simplify the taxation system for a better understanding of the business community.
FBR requested to include senior representatives from the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Industries & Production for better coordination and effective policymaking in this regard.
Chairman Complaint Oversight Committee (COC) briefed the Policy Board about the working of a newly developed complaint portal, which is currently running on a trial basis.
The complaint resolution system is designed to facilitate businessmen, traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and large taxpayers. All complaints can be filed in one place. SOPs for complaint resolution and oversight by COC are being finalized, and the system would be formally launched soon.
The Chair directed to disseminate relevant information about the working of complaint registration mechanism and ensure the contact details are readily available for public consumption.
The Finance Minister further directed FBR to expedite the process of Income Tax refunds of less than Rs.50 million to uphold the commitment of the government to facilitate taxpayers.
Federal Minister for Privatization, Mohammad Mian Soomro, Adviser to the PM on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the PM on Institutional Reforms & Austerity, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, SAPM on Revenue, Dr. Waqar Masood, Chairman FBR, senior members of FBR, and representatives of private-sector participated in the meeting.
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