FBR’s prize scheme to widen tax net yields results

ISLAMABAD: The Point of Sale (POS) prize scheme launched by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to widen the tax net is yielding good results with phenomenal increase in public participation.

According to the latest official data seen by WealthPK, in February, about 2,60,833 invoices were verified by customers who shopped from outlets integrated with the POS System as against 153,000 in January 2022.

Likewise, around 38 million invoices were issued by Tier-1 retailers in February as compared to 37 million in January 2022.

The number of customers has also jumped up from 27,000 in January to around 39,000 in February who successfully verified their invoices. So far, out of around 4,200 Tier-1 retailers, over 3,600 have already integrated their business opera-tions with the POS system.

Their 17,000 outlets with over 19,500 cash counters are fully integrated with POS system. The public participation in the prize scheme is likely to grow further.

Also, the FBR continued with the monthly computer ballot for its innovative prize scheme, and successfully organised third successive lucky draw at its headquarters in Islamabad on Tuesday, March 15.

In addition to 1,007 lucky winners winning prizes worth Rs53 million, another 10 individuals won prizes of Rs100,000 each sponsored by Metro Stores Paki-stan for its customers. This has taken the winners list to 1,017, winning prizes worth Rs54 million.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of FBR Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed reit-erated that for the past few years, the FBR had been vigorously pursuing its drive for digitization, transparency, and automation not only to document economy, but also to plug revenue leakages through a transparent tax system.

He further emphasized that the FBR will continue to maximize tax compliance through various innovative initiatives including the POS prize scheme. The an-nual business turnover of retail sector in Pakistan is about Rs20 trillion but only around 20% is visible to the FBR for tax compliance.

This innovative prize scheme was launched to digitally monitor the sales made by Tier-1 retailers across Pakistan to ensure that the tax collected from custom-ers was safely deposited into the state exchequer.

Furthermore, the FBR has already distributed prizes worth Rs106 million among 2,014 lucky winners in two computerized ballots held in a transparent manner on 15th of January & February 2022.

More than half of the fortunate winners have already got the prize money transferred into their bank accounts. People are showing a lot of interest in be-coming part of this computerized draw.

Talking to WealthPK, spokesperson for the FBR Asad Tahir Jappa said there were two major purposes of the prize scheme: first, to identify the actual volume of retail sector business; second, to ensure that the tax collected from the customers at the POS system was deposited into the state exchequer. He said smooth implementation of the initiative will significantly improve revenue collection for the country.

“Through this prize scheme, we are engaging customers first time in the country’s history who are our biggest stakeholders and they pay millions of rupees worth of sale tax every day to retailers.

We are creating awareness for the people to put a check on their submitted tax and ask for real receipts with active bar code and the FBR invoice number. We have incentivised them on their purchases from the FBR’s registered Tier-1 retail stores. The customers need to scan the bar code through ‘Tax Assan’ mobile application to participate in the prize scheme”, Asad Tahir Jappa highlighted.

“We want to find the real volume of retail business through this computerised system and to bring tax into the national kitty in a safe and transparent way. We have already launched a media campaign at the national and social media level to guide customers about this system and our regional tax offices across the country are engaging with the people, trade bodies, chambers of commerce and all stakeholders to help them”, he said. Tahir added that the scheme will continue to further promote the tax culture.

Computerized balloting for the prize scheme is being held on 15th of every month at the FBR Headquarters, Islamabad. Initially, the denomination of prizes has been set at Rs10,00,000 (1st Prize), two prizes of Rs500,000, four prizes of Rs250,000 and 1,000 prizes of Rs50,000 each. Thus, a total prize amount of Rs53 million is being distributed among the lucky 1,007 winners every month.

This lucrative prize scheme is aimed at maximizing transparency and plugging revenue leakage through real time monitoring of sales. The FBR looks forward to significantly increasing its revenue collection through these innovative initiatives, which is being praised by the society.