From now on business entities will be able to complete all the VAT-related work online as the National Board of Revenue (NBR) launched the Integrated VAT Automated System on Wednesday.
The automated system will enable businesses to deposit VAT in the state treasury through online or mobile banking, download the payment invoice and add it to the government's Integrated Budget and Accounting System (iBAS) online. It will also enable taxpayers to submit their VAT returns to the NBR's online system.
The new system is linked to the government's Automated Challan (A-Challan) System, and the customs office's ASYCUDAWorld system.
As a result of launching the new integrated system, VAT for importing goods will go directly to the state treasury through the ASYCUDAWorld system.
After inaugurating the new software, NBR Chairman Abu Hena Rahmatul Muneem said, "The introduction of the automated system has made the process of paying VAT easier and created transparency. Field level officers will not be able to intervene as the businesspersons will deposit their VAT directly to the state treasury."
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance introduced the A-Challan system. Only the taxpayers who have online banking facility can use this system. The taxpayer's bank will be the guarantor of that A-Challan. These challans have a barcode that contains all the information, including the reason for paying the tax.
As a result, money is deposited in the government treasury as soon as the taxpayer prepares an A-Challan. Once the invoice is created it is added directly to the iBAS database.
The taxpayers will also be able to use an A-Challan in this automated method of tax payment at the time of submitting the annual tax returns.
The NBR said the A-Challan or automated invoicing system has been introduced to curb the trend of fake invoice submission and revenue evasion. In many cases fake invoices are submitted at the time of paying tax. Sometimes, the challan money is not properly deposited in the government treasury in the fastest possible time. Consequently, the government does not get the desired revenue.
At present, 2.2 lakh companies have acquired business identification numbers by registering online, but only a little more than 50% of them actually submit VAT online.
At present there are 65 lakh tax identification number (TIN) holders. Of these, 24-25 lakh TIN holders submit VAT returns on an average every year. Around 6,000-7,000 taxpayers submit their returns online every year on an average.