Documented retailers generate about 25% of their turnover in taxes

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Documented retailers generate about 25% of their turnover in taxes

ISLAMABAD, JUN 3 /DNA/ – The business community has stressed the need for a wide range of reforms in the taxation of the retailer to foster the growth in economy, besides ensuring sustainable tax compliance. In a statement, Chairman Tariq Mehboob Rana and Senior Vice-Chairman Asfand Yar Faruukh highlighted that CAP represented over 200 tax-compliant Tier-1 Retailers integrated with the FBR-POS system. These retailers significantly contribute to Pakistan’s formal economy and provide direct employment to over 2,000,000 people, with many more jobs created indirectly.

Despite efforts to rationalize retail sector taxation, an increasingly imbalanced environment has led to the closure of several integrated Tier-1 retailers and a reduction in physical retail networks over the past two years, Rana said. This has resulted in decreased employment and stagnation of domestic investment in branded retail.

The CAP office bearers suggested restoring the 12% GST rate for Integrated Tier-1 Retailers and reviving the POS Prize Scheme for consumers. They explained that a rationalized GST rate would incentivize faster integration of Tier-1 Retailers. Currently, integrated retailers generate 20-25% of their turnover in taxes, while undocumented retailers contribute almost nothing. Reintroducing the POS Prize Scheme will motivate consumers to purchase from Integrated Tier-1 Retailers and verify sales invoices digitally, promoting compliance.

Commenting on the Tajir Dost Scheme (TDS), they also suggested transforming TDS into a simplified tax registration scheme for all retailers, unlinked from cumbersome advance tax payment obligations. Retailers should be subject to normal taxation rather than additional advance tax payments. The current scheme’s ‘deemed income’ based on commercial property valuation is impractical and arbitrary. A fixed-income tax scheme with predictable annual rate increases will provide long-term visibility for retailers.

Additionally, they recommended implementing a fixed sales tax rate of 3% on retail transactions conducted via digital payments. Small retailers often sell undocumented goods and find the standard GST rate unviable. A lower fixed GST rate of 3%, without input tax adjustments, will curb the practice of fake invoices and encourage digital transactions, reducing cash usage and increasing documentation.

As a reform-oriented trade body, CAP is committed to supporting the government’s efforts to improve the economic situation. They requested a meeting with the Finance Minister to discuss these proposals in detail and offered their full cooperation in implementing effective taxation policies.