Pakistan’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) traders are calling on their government to get tough on forms of trade-based financial crime, in particular under-invoicing.

The FMCG Importers Association (PFIA) in particular wants the new government led by Imran Khan to end the regulatory duty currently levied on imports and reinstate the recently abolished final tax regime (FTR) which the association says would reduce under-invoicing and corruption.

Tax reforms

The association is calling for the new government to reform customs and import duty arrangements in the upcoming federal budget by introducing measures that it says will curb under-invoicing and corruption and encourage legitimate importers.

PFIA chairman Anjum Nisar and vice chairman Muhammad Ejaz Tanveer said in a statement that the current tax regime features high duties that encourage under-invoicing and smuggling of popular brands.

Abolish duty

They are therefore calling on the government to abolish regulatory duty from all imported items. Instead, the association wants to see importers allowed once more to use the recently abolished FTR.

Under the FTR, taxes are withheld at the source on the sale of goods and execution of contracts, and the taxpayer is subject to tax on a ‘presumptive’ basis.

The controversial presumptive tax basis is a form of assessing tax liability using indirect methods such as income reconstruction or by applying base-line taxation across the entire tax base.