taxes on commercial properties

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The Government of Punjab has prepared a proposal to impose taxes on commercial properties located around highways and motorways in the province, reported a news source. If the proposal is approved in the upcoming budget, Punjab Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control Department (ETNCD) will earn annual revenue of PKR 3 billion.

The proposal recommends dividing the commercial properties into three categories. Commercial properties located on motorways will be placed in Category A. The businesses operating on GT Road will be categorized according to the nature of the business and type of the area they are operated from.

ETNCD has shared its recommendations for imposing taxes on commercial properties before the Punjab Resource Mobilisation Committee. Speaking to the press, Punjab ETNCD Director General Akram Ashraf Gondal said that commercial activities along highways and motorways have lately increased. Despite that, a business worth billions of rupees is conducted there, and the property owners aren’t under the tax net.

In addition, the ETNCD also suggested increasing professional tax on engineers, doctors and lawyers. The department is looking to increase professional tax rates from PKR 100,000 to PKR 500,000 per annum. These recommendations will be presented before the Chief Minister of Punjab. Reportedly, some provincial and federal ministers are also for lifting the professional tax.

The professional tax was first imposed back in 1964 at a rate of PKR 30 per category. Later in 1977, the number of categories was reduced to six and the tax percentage was set at 1% of the total income. In 1999, the then government expanded the professional tax net by imposing taxes on several new departments. The government also changed the fixed 1% tax ratio and set separate taxes for each category. Back then, the federal government set PKR 100,000 as the maximum limit for professional tax.