State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed banks to entertain taxpayers if they deposit the cheque of different banks to facilitate them with the convenient payment option available in the banking system. The banking regulator reiterated that banks shall ensure that all their branches are accepting the taxes and duties through the ADC mechanism and that their customer can pay the tax in any branch of his/her bank.
There have been complaints that the banks’ branches do not accept the Cheque drawn on another branch of their bank for payment of taxes and ask the taxpayer to visit the branch on which the Cheque is drawn.
The banks shall send SMS or email messages to their clients informing them that “They can pay their taxes and custom duty through internet/mobile banking, ATMs or in any branch of their bank by submitting a Cheque of the tax/duty amount and PSID, it added.
Tax Collection via ADC
The collection of FBR taxes and duties through Alternate Delivery Channels (ADC) was initiated in March 2018 in parallel to the traditional paper-based manual system.
The ADC mechanism allowed the taxpayers to pay their taxes through internet/mobile banking, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), or Over-the-counter (OTC) of 16,000 branches of commercial banks across the country. It also enabled the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Government Accounting Bodies to realize the tax proceeds on an almost real-time basis and record the transactions in their accounting system electronically.
Considering the successful and smooth operations of the ADC platform for over 2 years, FBR made it mandatory for Corporate Tax Payers to pay their taxes only through the ADC mechanism from 17th August 2020. The other two categories i.e. Association of Persons (AOPs) and individual taxpayers will also be gradually shifted to the ADC mechanism thus completely eliminating the traditional tax collection system.
As another step towards digitization of taxes and duties collections, the FBR and Pakistan Customs has decided that effective 20 January 2021, Custom Duties exceeding Rs.1 million will be collected through the ADC mechanism only.
FBR and SBP have conducted a number of webinars and awareness sessions for the business community to ensure a smooth transition to the ADC mechanism. While we appreciate the effective role and contribution of banks in making this initiative a huge success, there are still complaints and concerns by the taxpayers about low awareness of banks’ field staff about the ADC particularly the OTC mechanism.
Bankers Should Be Trained To Facilitate Taxpayers
The banks’ branches have a fully functional OTC system integrated with 1Link to collect the Government taxes and duties.
Hence, the branch staff should have a full understanding of the system and should facilitate the taxpayers in payment of taxes.
As the custom duty is dependent on the exchange rate, it changes with the change in the exchange rate. Thus, there may be cases where the taxpayer generates Payment Slip ID (PSID) on day 1 and approaches the bank for payment, the next day and thus the amount of duty reflected on the Tax Payer’s PSID is different from the one appearing on bank’s terminal.
In such cases if the Cheque presented is of lesser amount, the banks shall accept the additional amount in cash or Cheque as per the convenience of the taxpayer. Further, in case the Cheque amount is greater than the customs duty appearing on the bank’s terminal, the excess amount shall be credited to the taxpayer’s account with the bank.