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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

Senate committee rejects proposal for 15% tax on property

FBR chairman says gas and electricity connections of no-filers will be cut
In the annual budget, the federal government proposed a host of new taxes including those on non-filers to bring the people to the tax net. Reuters/File
In the annual budget, the federal government proposed a host of new taxes including those on non-filers to bring the people to the tax net. Reuters/File

A Senate committee has rejected the federal government’s proposal to impose a 15% levy on the property that would have come into effect on July 1, however, it approved the recommendation to restrict the foreign travel on non-filers.

The decision was taken during the Senate Standing Committee on Finance meeting on the Finance Bill in Islamabad on Saturday. PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwala presided over the meeting.

In the annual budget, the federal government proposed a host of new taxes including those on non-filers to bring the people to the tax net.

Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Zubair Tiwana informed the committee that a new provision has been introduced in the Finance Bill regarding property purchases by late filers. The tax rate for late filers has been kept between that of regular filers and non-filers. He also mentioned that most individuals only file their returns at the time of property purchase.

Committee Chairman Mandviwalla argued that the tax rate for late filers should be the same as non-filers. Senator Anusha Rahman advocated being more lenient towards filers and increasing taxes on non-filers. But Senator Mansoor Kakar opposed any increase in property taxes.

The committee ultimately decided to reject the proposal to increase property taxes. They also rejected the suggestion to extend the tax exemption for erstwhile tribal areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – FATA and PATA regions – by another year.

The FBR chairman stated that there was extensive debate on such issues in the cabinet, but their objections were not accepted. When asked, he revealed that the International Monetary Fund had opposed providing tax exemptions to the merged districts.

Mandviwalla further commented that the entire industry faces issues due to the concessions granted to the tribal regions and extending them would exacerbate the problems.

The Senate panel also gave a nod to decreasing the salary slab and increasing the tax on the salaried class while it rejected the recommendation to impose a 15% Capital Gains Tax on the property. It further rejected the proposal to send the parliamentarians’ records to the National Database and Registration Authority (NARDA) for collecting the tax.

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NADRA record was “not safe,” according to Senator Anusha Rehman.

The Federal Board of Revenue informed the panel that the Special Investment Facilitation Council had asked it to send the data to NADRA. He added that the Grade 17 to 22 employees’ data would also be given to the authority.

The committee approved the federal government’s proposal to impose a 75% withholding tax on the mobile phones and internet use of non-filers.

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