KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) today formally launched its online tax collection system. This will allow taxpayers to pay FBR taxes and duties using internet banking accounts or ATMs without the hassle of visiting the banks’ branches. The system was launched by Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar in a simple ceremony held at FBR House Islamabad today. The ceremony was also attended by SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa, FBR Chairman Tariq Pasha, CEO and Chairman 1Link, and senior officials of SBP, FBR and Customs.
The online tax collection system is live now and the taxpayers can pay their taxes and duties from the convenience of their homes, offices or ATMs any time, 7 days a week.
The system is based on the 1Link biller module, whereby FBR has been added as one of the billers on the banks’ bill payments page. To pay taxes and duties, the taxpayers/importers will fill their tax and customs duty payment details in FBR (IRIS) and Customs (WeBOC) to generate PSID (payment slip ID). The PSID generated will then be used to access the tax/duty payment details on the banks’ webpage or ATM as the case may be. The tax payer or their agent will then pay the tax by debiting his/her bank account for onward credit to the respective government account in SBP. The whole process is online and fully automated for the benefit of the customers.
On the occasion, Haroon Akhtar congratulated the State Bank of Pakistan, FBR, and 1Link for initiating and completing this important project. He said that the online collection system provides much-needed relief and convenience to the taxpayers and expressed optimism that the business community will take full advantage of the system and pay a bulk of their taxes and duties using the online facility. He said that as the system provides end-to-end solutions right from filing of the tax returns to the payment of taxes, to recording in the accounts books of the government, and thus will bring efficiency, safety and transparency in the government’s tax collection system. He added that the system will also be instrumental in improving Pakistan’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ index.
SBP governor said that this project is in line with ‘SBP Vision 2020’, which envisages the development of a robust payments system. With the government’s system of receipts and payments being the largest components of the country’s payment system, the online collection of taxes will have a positively tremendous impact on the payment system, its efficiency, and effectiveness. He further said that this facility would have three major benefits, namely facilitation of the taxpayer, reduction in the time lapse between payment of taxes and its reporting, and instant reconciliation of payments. These three benefits would improve the efficiency of FBR.
He said that SBP is also working with the provincial governments to extend the coverage of online tax collection system to the provincial taxes and receipts as well. He also emphasised the need for automation of government payments and said that SBP would work with AGPR and other stakeholders to eliminate cheques from government payments and shift to a direct credit system.
The FBR Chairman said that this project is a result of effective collaboration between FBR and SBP and will go a long way in improving the government’s tax collection system. He said that tax payers’ facilitation is the core objective of the online collection system. The tax payers and business community paying taxes online would be able to have confirmation of their tax payments on a real-time basis; importers will be able to get their goods released immediately after payment of taxes and duties. He said that the online collection system will run in parallel with the cash/pay order based system and taxpayers will have the option to use the system of their respective choice and preference for payment of taxes.