The tax rate on rental income should be made uniform for individual, Association of Persons (AOPs) and company at 15 percent.
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in its proposals for budget 2020/2021, recommended to bring uniformity in taxing the rental income.
The FPCCI said that at present for every person except companies the income from property is chargeable to tax at the rate specified in Division (VIA) of Part I of the First Schedule to the Ordinance, which is considered to be their final tax liability and they are not allowed any expenditure against gross rent, except option provided under sub-section (7) of section 15A of the Ordinance, in case income exceeds Rs.4 Million.
Whereas, the companies are required to pay normal tax (current at 29 percent) on such income after adjustment of admissible expenditure out of gross rent.
The tax rate on rental income has now been gradually increased from 20 percent to 35 percent for individuals and AOPs though the Finance Act, 2019.
Apart from that the lessor is also required to pay Sindh Sales Tax at the rate of 3 percent to Sindh Revenue Board (SRB), which makes the total tax impact very unfair and exorbitant and lead towards un-documented business.
The present scheme of taxation on rental income resulted the rents of warehouses had increased exorbitantly and the exporters who warehoused their exportable goods are financially hurt.
Moreover, it has also distorted the income of the senior citizens, retired persons, pensioners, widows etc., whose livelihood solely depends upon rent of their property, made from their income in good old days.
The FPCCI made following proposals:
i) The rental income from property, AOP or individual and company be taxed at a uniform rate of 15% of the Gross Rent as full and final discharge of tax liability.
ii) Rental income taxable under Normal Tax Regime should be allowed to be adjusted against business loss. The restriction imposed through Finance Act, 2013 needs to be reconsidered.
Giving the rationales to the proposals, the FPCCI said:
i) The impact of taxes (direct and indirect) on rental income will be rationalized.
ii) Investors will be encouraged to declare their genuine rental income.