Budget Proposals 2017/2018: FBR urged to reduce number of withholding tax rates to five from 55

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KARACHI: Foreign and multinational companies have urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to revamp withholding tax regime and reduce the number of tax rates to 5 from 55 rates.
Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) in its budget proposals for tax year 2018 submitted to FBR, stressed the need for revamping and massive simplification of withholding tax regime from current 55 rates to only five rates.
In other proposals, the OICCI suggested reduction of Corporate Tax rate from 30 to 25 percent and General Sales Tax rate from 17 percent to 13 percent in line with the rates in Asia region. Further, 3-4 percent super tax should also be abolished.
The chamber proposed rationalize Minimum Tax Regime (MTR) for large value but low margin businesses like oil marketing companies.
The OICCI sought incentives for new investments in manufacturing and employment generating ventures to be made part of every budget.
Group Taxation relief to be re-introduced and Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) & Workers Profit Participation Fund (WPPF) jurisdiction and tax deductibility be clarified, especially after the promulgation of similar legislations in the provinces.
Coordination between Federal and Provincial Legislations should be improved as foreign investors have invested in Pakistan and not in any particular province and therefore, should not suffer from Inter-Governmental Issues/Conflict.
Pending Income/ Sales Tax Refunds be settled within a month.

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