PSEB holds seminar on taxation of IT Industry with FBR

Islamabad, 15th March, 2017. Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), organized a seminar on taxation of IT industry in Islamabad to brief IT companies on the federal and provincial taxes, and to provide an opportunity to the participants to discuss taxation issues and to share recommendations on improving IT remittances and their reporting. This seminar was the second in series after PSEB’s seminar on taxation at ITCN 2016 in Karachi last year.

The event was attended by Mr. Sajidullah Siddiqui, FBR’s Chief of Income Tax Policy, Mr. Zaheer Qureshi, FBR’s Secretary Sales Tax Budget, Mr. Syed Tariq Jamil, Tax Services Leader, Ernst Young Ford Rhodes & Company, Mr. Muhammad Awais, Senior Tax Partner, Ernst Young Ford Rhodes & Company, officials from PSEB, Ministry of Information Technology, National ICT R&D Fund, P@SHA, and senior executives of IT & ITeS companies in Islamabad.

Managing Director, Pakistan Software Export Board, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, talked about PSEB’s activities and shared the current state of IT industry in terms of exports, remittances, and top 10 IT export destinations. He shared the issues related to federal and provincial tax authorities and State Bank of Pakistan which had been reported by the industry to PSEB.

Mr. Syed Ahmad, former Chairman, P@SHA presented the view point of IT companies on taxation and shared certain recommendations with the FBR officials for facilitation of the growing IT sector.

Mr. Muhammad Awais, Senior Tax Partner, Ernst Young Ford Rhodes & Company briefed the participants on specific taxation laws related to the IT industry, both at federal and provincial levels, as well as the implications for IT businesses.

Mr. Sajidullah Siddiqui, Chief of Income Tax Policy, FBR shared the current taxation laws and sales registration requirements for exporters. He encouraged the IT companies to approach FBR for resolution whenever they face any taxation issues. He also shared that FBR has recently established a helpline so that queries of businesses can be answered swiftly. With budget preparations underway for the upcoming year, he welcomed any proposals from the industry so that FBR can give due consideration to facilitate the growth of IT exports.

Mr. Zaheer Qureshi, Secretary Sales Tax Budget informed the participants that Sales Tax registration is mandatory, even for exporters and that monthly submission of sales tax is required. He encouraged the IT companies to approach FBR with any suggestions or recommendations that they may have to improve the current laws and practices.

MD PSEB and Member IT, MoIT suggested that IT companies should share their issues and recommendations with P@SHA soon so that P@SHA can then compile and share a proposal with PSEB by end of March 2017. PSEB will then forward the proposal with its recommendations for onward submission to Ministry of IT and Ministry of Finance in time to be considered in the upcoming budget proposals. It was emphasized by both that any tax related issues being faced by IT companies must be submitted with appropriate documents/evidence in order to ensure consideration by higher authorities.

Participants from the IT industry highly appreciated PSEB’s initiative for holding the tax seminar and shared their issues and suggestions with the officials from the FBR, Ministry of Information Technology, PSEB and P@SHA during the panel discussion.