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Amnesty schemes for ST, customs duty payment likely soon

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The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is planning to announce soon two amnesty schemes for the business community for payment of outstanding dues of sales tax and customs duty without penalty, default surcharge and additional tax. It is learnt that the FBR is expected to issue two different notifications for extending amnesty on payment of outstanding sales tax and customs duty dues by June 30, 2011.
The amnesty schemes would be a major facilitative measure being approved by FBR Chairman Salman Siddiq to expedite clearance of pending sales tax and customs duty arrears. One of the key features of the schemes is to facilitate those businessmen who are ready to clear their pending sales tax and customs duty. In case of sales tax, if a taxpayer will agree to pay principal amount of sales tax, the Board would not impose penalty or additional sales tax on clearance of pending dues by June 30, 2011. The Board would exempt from additional sales tax and penalty provided to the registered taxpayers willing to deposit the principal sales tax amount. Secondly, the launching of new amnesty scheme would be instrumental in recovery of sales tax arrears, which would also reduce litigation between the taxpayers and the department. The defaulters of sales tax and federal excise might also be able to avail the benefit of these schemes on payment of principal amount. A separate notification of customs would also waive penalty/surcharge on payment due customs duty. The scheme would be conditional under the Customs Act 1990 to ensure speedy clearance of customs duty arrears. Both amnesty schemes would help the FBR to generate additional revenue in the remaining days of current month ie June 2011. The taxpayers could be freed from unnecessary litigation and past liabilities by availing the relief. The notifications would give tax relief to the taxpayers without forcing them to approach the judicial fora to contest the disputed amount involved in such cases.

Courtesy : Business Recorder

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