ISLAMABAD (March 27 2009): The Regional Tax Office, Islamabad has deputed sales tax officials in four hotels, including a Chinese restaurant located in Blue area to monitor the daily turnout of the hotels/restaurants. Blue Area is Islamabads top financial centre, where lot of restaurants, hotels, mostly expensive ones are located. They make money mostly from rich class, and tourists who dont know what they are getting into.

Sources told Business Recorder on Thursday that the reason for posting sales tax officials in these four top restaurants, was drastic decrease in sales tax as compared to their competitors. The data analyses of these four hotels and restaurants showed that sales tax deposited by these units was very less against their daily turnover. These are the busiest restaurants of blue area, Islamabad.

There is a huge variation in the electricity and natural gas consumption data as compared to their actual turnover. The analysis of sales tax return of these hotels/restaurants identified different kinds of discrepancies. RTO, Islamabad has properly applied selection parameters for enforcement of section 40B of the sales tax act, 1990.

In consequence of instructions of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to Directors General of all Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) to ensure proper payment of sales tax by hotels and restaurants and to post staff in the restaurants under section 40B of the Sales Tax Act, 1990, the Regional Tax Office, Islamabad, is starting monitoring of restaurants with effect from today (Friday).

In the first phase, sources said that four restaurants located in Blue Area, Islamabad, have been selected and sales tax officers shall monitor their sales from 12am to 12pm. Monitoring of next batch of hotels and restaurants shall be initiated in the next week, they added. The monitoring of restaurants has started in view of persistent reports of huge sales tax evasion by this sector, and it is hoped that this exercise will help in substantial increase in revenue.

Source: Business Recorder