Karachi: Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, the President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), has made a formal request for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the deadline for filing income tax returns by 15 days without imposing any penalties. This proposal aims to support and facilitate willing and law-abiding tax filers within Pakistan’s business, industry, and trade sectors.
President Iqbal Sheikh emphasized that this request is based on feedback received from across Pakistan. FPCCI represents over 250 chambers, associations, and trade bodies in the country, making it a comprehensive voice for the business community.
Notably, the number of income tax return filers has increased by approximately 15 percent this year. Both taxpayers and tax authorities need additional time to handle this increased workload. The growing number of income tax filers is a positive trend, and it’s crucial to provide an opportunity for all expected filers to complete their filing process.
President Iqbal Sheikh suggested that November 15, 2023, would be an appropriate extended deadline for accepting income tax returns. This date allows taxpayers to consider the financial challenges faced by businesses in Pakistan, including historic inflationary pressures, currency volatility, import restrictions, rising utility costs, and the overall economic conditions.
Furthermore, he reiterated the need for simplifying the income tax filing process and increasing tax revenues by broadening the tax base rather than placing further burdens on active tax filers. Streamlining taxation rates and simplifying the income tax form can encourage more businesses to file their income tax returns on time, creating a win-win solution for all parties involved.
Muhammad Suleman Chawla, the Senior Vice President of FPCCI, highlighted that the economic turmoil has significantly impacted small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Many SMEs face constraints in paying fees to tax consultants and lawyers, which can delay the calculation and filing of their income tax returns. This extension would provide them with the necessary time and support to fulfill their tax obligations.