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CBR introduces CTI scheme

  1. CBR introduces CTI scheme
  2. Revenue collection target
  3. Tough competition in airline business

The scheme will help detect non-filers of tax returns, establish better coordination between parallel tax data base and allocating a permanent identification number

From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI, Islamabad
Oct 11 - 17, 1999

The Central Board of Revenue has introduced a new scheme known as "Common Taxpayer Identifier" (CTI) in order to detect non-filers of tax returns and delinquent accounts, cross check information regarding the common taxpayers, establish better coordination and linkages between the parallel tax data bases by integrating all tax numbers and allocating a permanent identification number and above all to facilitate the tax-payers in their record keeping and dealings with various departments.

The scheme will ultimately cover every person liable to the charge, levy or payment of any tax under the relevant legislation comprising the Central Excises Act, 1944, Wealth fax Act, 1965 Customs Act 1969, Income Tax Ordinance, 1979, and Sales Tax Act, 1990. The provisions of this scheme will initially apply to all those taxpayers to whom a certificate for Common Taxpayer Identifier (CTI) will be issued from the CTI Centre, Central Board of Revenue, Islamabad.

Tax Policy Wing of CBR, in collaboration with Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL), has been charged with the responsibility to design, develop and allocate the CTI number to every taxpayer and to monitor implementation of the scheme. For this purpose, an office called "CTI Centre" has been established in the CBR House.

Since the CTI is intended to identify the taxpayer and not a specific tax obligation, a simple identifier has been proposed which consists of sequential numbers without any. particular significance. The CTI number, as adopted, is a number of 10 digits in length, having a 9-digit sequence number and a one-digit check digit, as shown below:

SAMPLE NUMBER

1 0 0- 2 8 1- 9 9 4- 3

The key features of the CTI are that it will be geographically as well as trade and industry neutral, meaning thereby that there will be no reference to zones, divisions, circles or offices of the CBR and there will be no identification of business activities or services a taxpayer may be dealing in. The number will also be tax neutral and will be used without any direct link with the identification numbers previously allotted by the different wings of CBR.

After allotment of the Common Taxpayer Identifier, CTI certificates will be issued to the taxpayers on the signatures of the Chief, CTI Centre. These certificates will be sent to the taxpayers by registered post, with a counterfoil supplied to all the tax wings of the CBR. Initially, the CTI certificates will be issued to the companies, firms and business houses which are already using more than one registration number i.e. National Tax Number, Sales Tax Registration Number, Central Excise Licence Number, Import Registration Number and Export Registration Number.

The CTI will be allocated to the taxpayers in phases and its usage will be compulsory for those to whom CTI certificates have been issued. This number will be mentioned by the taxpayer in tax return, form, statement, declaration etc. whenever required to be done by the departments of Income Tax, Sales Tax, Customs and Central Excise. However, CBR will notify the date after which the usage of CTI number will become mandatory for each certificate holder for the purpose of quoting the number in the tax-related transactions and accounts, bills, invoices, receipts and cash memos etc.

With the issuance of the CTI certificates to the taxpayers, the CTI Centre will simultaneously send a counterfoil to all the tax wings of the CBR for onward transmission to the concerned commissionerates/collectorates within their respective jurisdiction. This will enable the field offices to adjust their records and renumber relevant files. A consolidated list of CTI certificate holders, arranged in alphabetical order, will also be supplied to the respective tax wings of the CBR. Inevitably, there will be a transition period during which records will be both in the old format and under the new scheme. However, the field formations will be required to complete the transition as early as possible. The Directorates General of Inspection of the respective wings, in due course of time, will also verify completion of the required exercise.

In order to ensure smooth transition from present system of tax identification numbers to the new scheme, each commissionerate/collectorate will set up a computerized CTI Cell and post an officer with supporting staff to perform the following main functions :

 

i) supervision and coordination of the work relating to CTI Scheme;

ii) maintaining constant liaison with the CTI Centre at Islamabad.

iii) processing applications of new taxpayers for allocation of CTI numbers by the CTI Centre, Islamabad; and

iv) collecting information from the public servants empowered under section 20(4) of the Finance Act, 1999, for securing compliance with the law.

For proper implementation of the CTI Scheme, the taxpayers getting the CTI certificates will be informed of their legal obligations by the notified public servants duly empowered in each commissionerate/ collectorate.

The taxpayers will be required to:

a) display the CTI certificate at a prominent place of the premises in which the taxpayer carries on business or works for gain;

b) write the CTI number on the signboard, wherever affixed, by the taxpayer;

c) mention the CTI number in tax returns, forms, statements declarations etc. wherever required to be done by the departments of income tax, Sales Tax, Customs and Central Excise.

d) quote the CTI number in the tax related transactions and accounts, bills, invoices, receipts, cash memos etc. with effect from the date notified by the CBR.

 

Where a taxpayer does not fulfill his obligation, despite information and advance warning, a show cause notice will be issued to him by the notified public servant to explain as to why a complaint may not be made to the Special Judge for trial of the offense punishable under section 20 of the Finance Act, 1999. Such a complaint shall be made if the taxpayer is believed to have knowingly and willfully contravened the relevant provisions of the law or this scheme.

Allocation of CTI numbers will be an ongoing process. After completion of allocation of CTI numbers to all the existing taxpayers, instructions will be issued to stop further assignment of National Tax Number, Sales Tax Registration Number, Central Excise Licence Number or any other registration number by respective wings of the CBR or its field formations. CBR will notify the cut off date for stoppage of further issuance of such numbers and, thereafter, new taxpayers requiring registration with any of the tax wings of CBR will be issued only one CTI number by the CTI Centre, Islamabad.

A CTI number once allocated to a person shall hold good for all times to come. This number shall not be allotted to any other person in any eventuality. Also in case of discontinuation of business, change of status as a new taxpayer or demise of the taxpayer, that particular number shall be frozen.

If a CTI certificate is lost or destroyed and the taxpayer has informed the police, an application can be submitted directly with the CTI Centre, Islamabad, for issuance of a duplicate copy of the original certificate.