Lahore: Punjab Revenue Authority said that its tax collection for January 2021 has surpassed all previous records.
The authority collected Rs11.23 billion in seventh month of fiscal year 2020-21, an increase of 10% against the corresponding month, which remained at Rs10.21 billion.
In first seven months of 2020-21, PRA managed to collect Rs85.9 billion against Rs62.2 billion and termed it as a whooping growth of nearly 38%, the spokesperson said that with such figures they are now hopping to surpass its yearly target of tax collections as currently the authority has achieved 69% of its annual target.
The authority has been given a tax collection target of Rs125 billion for 2020-21. The overall tax collection target for Punjab is set at Rs220.89 billion for current fiscal year.
The provincial government has set realistic tax collection targets for this year, as corona virus disrupted the economies worldwide.
Previously the authority has failed to achieve its tax collection targets, for example in fiscal year 2019-20, the original estimates for PRA were Rs166 billion which later revised down to Rs105 billion.
Punjab collects sales tax on services from 69 sectors, the authority did not share sector wise tax collections as numbers of some key services might be disappointed.
An official of Punjab finance department said that it is likely that the telecom sector will be the ultimate savior for PRA. “Previously, telecom sector generated most of the revenues for the authority, previous year was the lockdown year where internet and other services provided by telecom operators was the only source of connectivity”.
He added, that it is expected that revenues from these sources have beaten previous records since the usage of broadband services was on peak and many businesses opted for’ Work From Home’ policy and several have switched to digital mode of business, which do require internet.
The official said that there still needs a great effort for PRA to increase its tax base especially in retail sector by streamlining the things. A large number of retailers are out of tax net and the revenues from newly added services are not that high.
Provincial government has slashed sales tax on services up to 5% and to zero in some cases on nearly 20 services during pandemic but that was largely misused by the services provider and many customers complained 15% tax deduction, such are the loopholes which needs to be filled by the authority for a greater tax collection in future”, the official added.