KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of the federal finance minister (FM) Ishaq Dar to the issue of filers and non filers and informed him that the chambers of commerce and industries and trade associations demand the national tax number (NTN) before admitting any person as member and also demand copy of income tax at the time of renewal.
All members are therefore filers and should be treated as such.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said that the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCC&I) should have informed the FM about this fact and in fact the FM should have asked them as to what is bothering them when all their members are filers and what are they protesting about as filers are not obliged to pay the 0.3% withholding tax (WHT). This is only for the non filers.
Thaver said all SME importers, exporters, traders, manufacturers and service providers are filers and therefore UNISAME is not protesting. In fact all shopkeepers are directed to display their NTN in their premises.
He said we are concerned about the micro and those who are not obliged to file returns by virtue of their income being less than Rs 400000 and are exempted from filing. Our request to the FM is that since they are not obliged to file return, they should not be made liable to pay the WHT by virtue of the exemption.
Secondly he stated that those deriving income from agriculture are also exempted and therefore not filing returns but the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) can demand from them the provincial document of their landholding and the related provincial levies paid by them as evidence otherwise every other person will claim that the income is derived from agriculture.
Thirdly a person may be deriving a small portion of income from agriculture and more income from other undeclared sources. It is therefore up to the FBR to determine the person is earning which income from where and accordingly investigate the matter.
UNISAME wishes to invite the attention of the FBR to the difficulties being faced by the genuine non filers who are not obliged to file returns and the fact that UNISAME has no sympathies for those who are obliged to file the returns and are evading payment of tax.
The Union also wishes to invite the attention of the FM to the huge imports being made by the persons having undeclared money and also big properties being purchased with undeclared money. These are the filthy rich people who are to be brought to the tax net and questioned about their life style and not the small shop keepers, cottage and home based units.