The government is expected to keep the standard rate of General Sales Tax (GST) unchanged at 18% for the upcoming budget 2023-24, The News reported. Additionally, the government is exploring the possibility of increasing withholding tax rates in applicable cases as a potential means to boost tax revenues.
In an effort to expand the tax base, the government is also considering amendments for retailers to bring millions into the tax net. However, previous schemes aimed at attracting retailers into the tax net have proven unsuccessful over the past two to three decades.
Various proposals are currently under consideration to impose Minimum Asset Tax (MAT) on both moveable and immovable assets. To prevent potential litigations, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been advised to ensure the proposed taxation measures receive constitutional endorsement.
Furthermore, the government is actively exploring options to enhance the documentation of the property sector, which is crucial for achieving the highly ambitious tax collection target of Rs9 to Rs9.2 trillion for the upcoming budget.
These proposals were discussed during a meeting at the Finance Division, chaired by Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, where budgetary proposals were reviewed.
As the government seeks to strike a balance between revenue generation and economic stability, the final decisions regarding taxation measures and budgetary allocations will be unveiled in the upcoming budget announcement.