Commercial importers threaten country-wide protest against FTR abolition

KARACHI: Commercial importers have threatened country-wide protests against abolition of final tax regime (FTR) and increasing tax burden.
Muhammad Arif Lakhani, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals and Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA) in a statement on Wednesday rejected budget 2018/2019 and expressed reservations over tax treatment of commercial importers.
He said that the commercial importers were treated under final tax regime and they were allowed audit exemption on the payment of 6 percent withholding tax. “This regime is replaced with minimum tax in the budget. It is further proposed reassessment of raw material and opening of audit cases of commercial importers,” he said. He said that new proposals were injustice to commercial importers and the same would not be acceptable.
The chairman has sought help of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to play its role in saving the import sector from heavy taxation.
He said that commercial importers were import raw material for various sectors, including textile. “Bringing commercial importers into minimum tax regime will increase the cost of raw material,” he said and added that this will increase the cost of production for various sectors.
He appealed the prime minister and the finance minister to keep the final tax regime for commercial importers and reduce the withholding tax rate to four percent from 6 percent. Further, the tax rate difference between commercial and non-commercial importers should be removed in order to provide level playing field.
Lakhani also pointed out increase in additional tax to three percent from two percent and said that such initiatives would promote flying invoices.

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