September 14, 2018 (MLN): The much delayed online update regarding the previous government’s tax amendments caused a bit of a commotion amongst the media masses earlier yesterday, as they mistook it for contents of the forthcoming finance bill to be presented before the National Assembly on Tuesday.
A circular explaining the previous government’s tax cuts and adjustments that was due to be posted four months ago, was posted on the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)’s website earlier yesterday.
The circular contained important details regarding amendments in the income tax ordinance introduced through Finance Act 2018, in April. Soon afterwards, claims regarding the document being the new government’s amendments to the act started doing the rounds.
On being asked about the notice, the Information Minister Fawad Choudhry was taken aback and said that he was not aware of such a notification.
He further added that, “Often times, newspapers print headlines about things that never happen. They said tariff of gas and electricity was being increased, but it was not true.”
According to the circular, commercial importers who sell goods in the same condition that they are imported in, were to be taxed 5% of the import value, as increased by customs duty, sales tax and federal excise duty.
Furthermore, the government was to tax the transfers “of any sum remitted outside Pakistan on behalf of a person who has completed a debit card or credit card or prepaid card transaction with a person outside Pakistan.”
A new section was added through the act, which stated that “every person selling petroleum products to a petrol pump operator or distributor, where such operator or distributor is not allowed a commission or discount shall collect tax on ex-depot sale price of such products at 0.5% for filers and 1% for non-filers.”
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