FBR Launches Tax Registration Campaign for Retailers, Shopkeepers

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in Pakistan has unveiled plans to expand the tax base by introducing a mandatory registration scheme for retailers and wholesalers operating in six major cities nationwide.

Effective from April 1, this scheme is being implemented in line with the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on the proposal within a seven-day period.

Under this initiative, retailers, wholesalers, dealers, manufacturers-cum-retailers, and importer-cum-retailers in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta, and Peshawar will fall within the scheme’s scope.

The primary objective is to boost revenue generation and demonstrate the government’s commitment to economic reform. While similar schemes have encountered delays in the past, the current administration aims to lead the implementation process through the Special Investment Facilitation Council.

Starting from April 1, traders must register by April 30, with tax payments due by July. Failure to register within the specified timeframe will result in compulsory enrollment in the National Business Registry.

Additionally, the FBR has initiated a campaign to register retailers and shopkeepers in six major Pakistani cities, beginning on April 1. Tax collection will commence from July 1, 2024.

To facilitate registration, the FBR will utilize the Online Market Place Platform, enhancing transparency and efficiency in tax collection.

Special provisions have been outlined for small traders and shopkeepers, including a minimum monthly advance tax based on income bracket. Individuals not liable for income tax will pay an annual fee of Rs. 1200, with those fulfilling their tax obligations receiving a 25 percent reduction in their overall advance tax liability.

Previously, the FBR introduced the Merchant Friendly Scheme and the ‘Merchant Friend’ mobile app to register traders, streamlining the process and expanding the tax net.

Furthermore, Pakistan reached a Staff-Level Agreement (SLA) with the IMF on March 20 for the final review of a $3 billion bailout package. Upon approval by the IMF’s Executive Board, Pakistan will receive $1.1 billion, signaling progress in economic recovery efforts.

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