On 15th September 2021, the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 [Amendment Ordinance] was promulgated with a view to bring in certain enforcement measures to broaden the tax base, enforce tax compliance and enhance documentation of economy by making it mandatory for companies to make payment through digital means only. The Amendment Ordinance further provides certain powers to NADRA to support FBR in achieving these ends, though the probability of litigation of some of these powers cannot be ruled out.
The main features of the Amendment Ordinance are the enforcement measures including enhanced penalties and disconnection of utilities for non-filers of income tax return as well as Tier-I retailers who are not integrated with FBR’s real time computerized system. The Amendment Ordinance also makes it mandatory for all companies, irrespective of their size, to make payment through ‘digital means’ only in order for their expenses to qualify for tax admissibility. This implies that it will no more suffice to pay through a cheque or pay-order.