Why FBR should extend the return filing date of 8 December?

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The revenue authority claims that it will not extend the filing date of 8 December.

It also claims to impose penalties on non-filers who did not file within the due date.

Why FBR should extend the return filing date of 8 December? Federal Board of Revenue intends to impose penalties on non-filers who missed the deadline. However, this is a perfect scenario of lack of empathy of revenue authorities in the current situation.

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Firstly, the coronavirus is already having worst impact on the lives of common man. It has put severe social and economic challenges for the literally everyone. Moreover, there are several people who are living in distress due to the second wave of corona virus.

Globally, the governments are trying to assist their citizens in this time of crisis. However, the FBR’s attitude is similar to Pharaoh’s of old times who are trying to create further troubles for already distressed population. Earlier administrations of FBR were much humane in this regard as they would allow extensions till 31 December, even in normal times. Thus, it is more relevant today so that the common man in Pakistan could be given some ease in these distressing times.

In our surroundings, the Indian government has already announced extension of date until 31 January 2021. This is to ease the burden of their people in this difficult situation.

Fake Circular of FBR Filing Date Extension

Secondly, there was a fake circular in market announcing extension in date of filing. The circular announced extension in the date for filing of income tax return.

A fake FBR circular appearing in several groups on social media put announcement of extension of return filing date until 31 January 2021
A fake circular appearing in several groups on social media put announcement of extension of return filing date until 31 January 2021

This did create an impression that there is extension in date for filing of returns. If not all, a number of people did believe it to be true. Thus, they did not file returns considering that they have time until 31 January 2021.

Third and most important is the precedent. In previous years, the government would extend the date until 31 December of every year. It was understood that the government gives time to the people as filing of tax returns wasn’t a practice until recently. As a matter of public policy also, the attitude towards certain laws takes time to develop. Globally, the governments understand this and try to implement in an effective manner by engaging the people.

Thus, considering the entire case scenario, the FBR should be extending the deadline for filing of tax returns. It is more important because at least a million genuine tax filers were unable to file their returns this year owing to the wave of coronavirus. It will certainly help FBR in getting more returns as well as more revenue.

Follow @Factfilepk and factfilepk for more stories.

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