The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been urged to massively reduce the withholding tax rates for annual filers of income tax returns in order to ease burden on compliant taxpayers. Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in its proposals for budget 2022-23 submitted to the FBR, recommended reduction in withholding tax rates for return filers. It said the difference in withholding tax rate between filers and non-filers is nominal. Discrimination in tax treatment of filers and non-filers is commendable. “However, this has now become a revenue measure with no effort to use the data collected to increase documentation and broaden the tax base,” the PBC said. It recommended that the withholding tax regime should be simplified by reducing the number of withholding provisions. The current withholding tax guide available on FBR website is a 48-page document as of 2021, which clearly shows the complexity of the regime from compliance and ease of doing business aspects. “There needs to be a significant distinction in the withholding income tax rates charged from non-filers as compared with the rates for filers. The rates of filers need to be reduced so that not only the burden of complaining taxpayers is reduced, but also the cost of doing business for non-compliant persons is increased.” Earlier, the PBC urged the tax authorities to monitor under invoicing and mis-declaration by commercial importers as those are destroying local industry. It further said that information regarding values at which various custom check posts clear import consignments is not publicly available. This encourages unscrupulous importers to under-declare the value of consignments to evade government revenues. “Values at which import shipments are cleared through PRAL or CARE need to be publicly available,” the PBC recommended.