Telecommunications companies have called on the SIFC

No Fines, Advance Tax on Non-Filers. Telcoms Operators Associations.

5/23/20241 min read

Telecommunications companies have called on the SIFC to remove fines and advance taxes on non-filers in the upcoming Finance Bill.

The Telecom Operators Associations has submitted a critical ask to the Extraordinary Speculation Assistance Committee (SIFC) to expel the Rs. 100-200 million fines on the telecom sector under the Federal Board of Revenue's (FBR) Income Tax General Orders (ITGOs) against non-filers.

The group sent a letter to the authorities asking that the "punitive measures" included within the Finance Bill 2024–25 be expelled. Moreover, it inquired about the examination and elimination of the advance tax of 75% on mobile services for non-filers who are not in compliance.

According to the association, the planned fines of Rs. 100 million and Rs. 200 million every two weeks for the telecom sector's selection of the ITGO—which particularly targets non-tax filers—are unjustifiable and oppressive. Foreign investment is debilitated by these fines, which are seen as punitive against telecom providers who have no direct involvement in tax filing compliance.

The Senate Committee concurs with the association's ask to have these sanctions pulled back.

The group scrutinized the operational troubles in isolating compliant and non-compliant tax filers among the 180 million active subscribers in Pakistan with respect to the 75 per cent advance tax on mobile services. The letter called for a review and revoke of this amendment, expressing that the current framework is incapable of carrying out this arrangement in a compelling way.

The association communicated appreciation for Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb's participation in this issue and expected that they would do everything in their control to support the FBR in fulfilling its objectives. Considering the foregoing, as well as the challenges we have experienced and the careful pondering we have conducted, we feel that the measures and recommendations included within the Fiscal Bill 2024 are pointless. As a result, we unequivocally suggest that these amendments be promptly expelled from the Finance Bill 2024–2025 because of time imperatives.

According to sources, SIFC has called telecom company administrators to talk about this issue.