FEBR asks PM for extension in Income Tax filing deadline as filers’ returns reduced by 43% to 1.67m

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ISLAMABAD : The Friends of Business and Economic Reforms (FEBR) on Sunday appealed to the Prime Minister for the grant of extension in date for income tax returns for the tax year 2020.

FEBR President Kashif Anwar said that PM Imran khan himself should take notice of the grave situation, as FBR’s last date for filing income tax returns has expired on Dec 08, 2020 while the taxpayers want some relaxation in the deadline in view of only 1.67 million income tax returns, which fell short of even last year’s figure by nearly 1.3 million.

“It is beyond understanding that despite a massive reduction in the number of income tax return filers for tax year 2020, the FBR has taken the stance that it will not grant any further extension in the last date for filing returns in spite of that taxpayers are facing difficulties of calculation errors on the IRIS portal, besides the working environment is not friendly due to the spread of coronavirus,” he added.

FEBR President urged PM Imran Khan, PM Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and FBR Chairman Javed Ghani to extend the deadline for filing Annual Income Tax Returns from Dec 08 2020 to March 2021 until the corona pandemic doesn’t eases.

Kashif Anwar said that a large number of business community members have not been able to file their tax returns, mainly due to the effects of COVID-19 on the whole of the working environment. He further added that the second wave, which is more severe and requires strict observation of SoPs, has also significantly disturbed business activities all over the country. Furthermore, he added that the recent surge in COVID-19 has slowed down the usual economic and commercial activities.

He informed that there are also some discrepancies, currently faced by the filers, in the filing of Income Tax Return when a taxpayer is requested to file two types of returns relating to partnerships/importers and suppliers.

He said that till the expiry of the deadline only 1.67 million taxpayers submitted annual returns for tax year 2020 while in tax year 2019, the FBR had received a total of 2.96 million income tax returns. There was a reduction of 43% or 1.29 million in the number of return filers, which should be a matter of grave concern for Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said that the government had promised to double the tax collection figure to Rs.8 trillion, which seems impossible looking at the number of the first two years in power.