The government has decided to launch a mobile app for the real-time collection of the general sales tax (GST) charged by the restaurants and hotels across the country.
The decision will be finalized after taking all the stakeholders on board. The mobile app will send an instant receipt to the consumers to confirm that the tax has been collected. It will increase the government’s revenue from the food and accommodation sector.
The decision has come about after the Finance Ministry sent a letter to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) regarding the matter. The FBR reviewed the recommendation of a mobile app for restaurants and hotels.
As for the letter, it noted that all the luxury restaurants and hotels across the country collect GST apart from their own bills. That includes restaurants that do not even provide computerized bills to the consumers.
The letter stated that whether the tax charged by the restaurants and hotels actually goes to the national treasury and within the prescribed duration remains unconfirmed.
The finance ministry further suggested the integration of the app with the tax mechanism to enable the GST payments made on a real-time basis.
This decision will benefit the government, as the taxes will be transferred to the national exchequer instantly. Furthermore, the consumers will also remain assured that their payment has reached the national treasury.
The regional tax office of Islamabad has already introduced a web-based restaurant invoice system in the entire city. The system has allowed the FBR to monitor the payments received by the restaurants digitally.
The data from the newly installed systems have been sent to the regional tax office. It has been further recommended that the restaurants be classified under different categories according to their electricity and gas bills and be charged taxes accordingly.