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Tax measures & reliefs in response to COVID-19 in 2020 by Pakistan

Government in Pakistan have introduced tax measures to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in year 2020.

Tax Reliefs in 2020 by Pakistan

Exempted taxes on import of oxygen gas, cylinders & tanks

23 August 2020: FBR exempted taxes on import of oxygen gas, oxygen cylinders and cryogenic tanks. This exemption was available for a period of 3 months starting from 23 June 2020. This relief applicable to LCs opened for GDs filed on or after 23 June 2020.

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The Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund 2020

30 June 2020: In Finance Act 2020 ‘The Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund 2020’ was added to FBR’s exemptions list. Any donation, made to the fund shall be exempted from tax.

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30 June 2020: Incentive package for construction industry

The construction sector declared as an ‘industrial undertaking’ through amendment in the Ordinance. The sector is now entitled to take exemption from advance tax otherwise collectible on import of machinery. Introduction of a fixed rate tax regime effective from Tax Year 2020 for builders and developers. The scheme is optional and covers ‘new projects’ and ‘existing projects’ (that start after 17 April 2020 but before 31 December 2020, date extended now up to 30th June, 2021 ) to be completed by 30 September 2022.

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Exemption from source of funds to certain conditions, including first purchaser of such building or land with certain conditions. Exemption from withholding tax liability on purchase of building material except steel and cement; and on services of plumbing, electrification, shuttering and allied works obtained from non-corporate service providers.

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Exemption on dividend income received from a company of a builder or a developer out of the profits. Low-cost projects developed or approved by Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) or under the Ehsaas program, the tax rates reduced by 90%. Reduction in capital gains tax chargeable on sale of immovable property.

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30 March 2020: Reduction of taxes and duties on import and supply of different food items for mitigating the impact of COVID -19

Reduction of tax on the import of different food items reduced to 0% from 2%. Businesses providing food items to Govt. based departmental stores without a brand name will pay 1.5% withholding tax instead of 4.5%; and Additional customs duty (ACD) at 2% on soya bean oil, canola oil, palm oil and sunflower oil (as well as oil seeds) exempted.

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ALSO READ: Top tax issues of Pakistan in 2020

Exemption from advance tax on import of plant and machinery

Effective from May 1, 2020, the construction sector is eligible to enjoy exemption from advance tax. On import of plant and machinery. Including claiming a tax credit on income from new projects according to the new tax regime. However, this credit facility is only applicable on the non-corporate sector.

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