To encourage more people to use digital channels, SBP abolishes fee on online payment of taxes

Tax collection via digital channels in the last year reached Rs346 billion.

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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced to abolish the fee on the payment of government taxes through alternate delivery channels – ADCs and over-the-counter (OTC). The new directions will be followed from January 1st, 2020.

To encourage more people to use digital means, the central bank on Saturday announced to withdraw the fees on online payment of taxes. Since earlier last year, tax collection via digital channels reached Rs346 billion.

Currently, the taxpayers have to pay a payment fee of 10 to 15 Rs per transaction through ADCs depending on the amount of tax paid and 50 Rs for payments through OTC (Over-the-counter or off-exchange trading is done directly between two parties, without the supervision of an exchange).

“This fee will be borne by the SBP instead of by taxpayers from January 1, 2020. The change has been notified through the SBP FD (finance department) circular no. 4 /2019 dated December 27, 2019,” the SBP said in a statement.

The SBP said that it is part of the steps being undertaken to promote digital payments and encourage more people to use digital means for payment of taxes and duties.

Commercial banks are expanding their infrastructure to support e-payments and actualize the goal of ‘Digital Pakistan’. According to the reports presented at the end of quarter-end 2019 January-March, 5,549 bank branches were reported by the banks/microfinance banks. Out of them, 114 are overseas branches.

Except 27, all branches are providing online banking services to their customers. There are 14,575 automated teller machines (ATMs) and 55,240 point-of-sale machines in the country. Furthermore, banks are also providing internet, mobile and call center banking facilities to their customers.

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