Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has appealed to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman to extend the deadline for filing tax returns by 60 days, i.e. until January 31, 2021.
In a letter written to the FBR chairman, PTBA President Aftab Hussain Nagra said that the last date should be extended as there are lockdowns in many parts of the country due to the second wave of the coronavirus.
He added that tax filers living in those areas are facing difficulty which is why the deadline should be extended.
On the other hand, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturer and Exporters Association have asked for a month-long extension to the last date for filing the returns.
The chairman of the association, in a separate letter, asked the FBR chairman to extend the deadline until December 31st as the many members of the group had been facing difficulties due to the pandemic.
FBR not to extend deadline: SAPM
Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood maintained that the FBR will not extend the deadline for filing of tax returns.
The SAPM, while speaking to Geo News on Saturday, said that the government decided not to extend the filing date as delays have become common over the last seven or eight years.
“In the last 7 or 8 years, the trust on the last date was lost,” said Dr Masood, adding that it was necessary to develop trust about the deadline to revive tax discipline.
“Now this is a trusted date and we are getting new returns and we are confident that our performance will be better compared to last year,” said the SAPM.
The former finance secretary said that the FBR had given the authority to its tax commissioners in the field to grant extensions due to coronavirus.
“Because there is COVID-19, we have given the authority to our tax commissioners that [those] who really need an extension, it can be granted to them at once,” said the SAPM. He also added that tax advisors can also seek an extension in a single application for all their clients.
He also shared that those seeking an extension will not be penalised for filing their returns late.
The FBR has set December 8 as the last date to file tax returns, according to a circular the body issued on Friday to the commissioners, stressing that there could be no further extension.
In its circular, the FBR said extending the deadline for the filing of tax returns affected its system.
However, taxpayers with hardship cases may apply online for an extension, it noted, adding that the commissioners had the power to defer the deadline.
Commissioners may approve extensions for all hardship cases, the FBR underlined.