ISLAMABAD: As the April 30 deadline for the Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme (VTCS) nears, only 6,214 traders have filed their returns in the past three months.
A sum of Rs575 million has been deposited with the national exchequer since the inception of the scheme on February 1 this year. The scheme, which aimed at bringing in one million traders under the tax net, has been extended thrice but so far has failed to produce results.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) data shows that in the first month, only 350 traders opted for the scheme.
During the first extension of the scheme (March 1-15), over 2,000 traders opted for the scheme. Due to this lukewarm response, the last date was further extended to March 31.
During the second extension (March 16-31), some 3,000 traders have opted for the tax amnesty scheme. In the third extension of the scheme, only 860 traders came forward.
The tax amnesty scheme was approved by the National Assembly and came into effect on February 1. In budget 2015-16, the government imposed 0.6 per cent withholding tax on banking transactions. The levy mostly affected traders.
An official of the FBR told Dawn that the total number of returns filed under the scheme is expected to exceed 8,201 returns in the next four days.
The amount of tax to be received from the scheme is expected to reach a sum of Rs771 million, which is still less than expectations. Of the total returns received so far, Lahore traders availed the scheme the most. There are 18 regional tax offices which are receiving returns from traders under the VTCS.
The government has also approved extension in the period of concessionary rate of 0.4pc withholding tax on banking transactions by non-filers up to April 30, 2016.
Courtesy : Dawn News