The National Board of Revenue is likely to keep up the nine-digit new electronic business identification number under the existing value-added tax law and scrap 11-digit old BINs from January next as part of continuation of automation of VAT system.
The revenue board may issue a public notice soon in this regard though the field level VAT officials remained in dilemma over maintaining e-BINs under the existing VAT Act-1991.
E-BINs, commonly known as VAT identification number, was introduced on March 23 as part of planned implementation of the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 from July 1 which the parliament deferred for two more years until 2019.
Officials said that the revenue board on Wednesday sent a draft of the public notice on instructions for using e-BINs and existing old BINs under the 1991 act and sought opinion from VAT commissioners.
Commissioners were asked to give their opinion urgently keeping in mind the exact situation prevailing in field levels and revenue mobilisation, they said.
Under the 2012 law, the NBR introduced central e-BIN or only one BIN for a business house irrespective of the number of its branches or factories while a trader required obtaining separate BINs for every branch or unit of the company and submitting separate returns for the units at VAT offices based on geographical locations of the units.
Under the new law, businesses may obtain unit-wise BINs following approval of the NBR while the existing act also approved central BIN in the same process.
In the draft instructions, the revenue board said that nine-digit e-BIN holding businesses which have only a unit will submit returns at VAT offices as per geographical location of the factory.
The entity which has 11-digit old BINs for different units but has already obtained central registration will submit returns at previous VAT offices using old BINs until the NBR issues further order, it said.
Businesses will obtain e-BINs within December 31 and until that time old BINs will remain effective, the revenue board said.
The NBR said that obtaining nine-digit e-BINs was not linked in any way with 1991 VAT law rather it is connected with determination of the digit of BIN.
The revenue board earlier changed the digit of BIN for several times, officials said.
They said that the public notice would be finalised soon accommodating opinion of the commissioners.
The revenue board said that digitisation of VAT system was important to establish good governance and discipline in revenue administration and maintain continuation of revenue collection.
Currently, there are more than eight lakh 11-digit BIN holders in the country but only 32,000 submit VAT returns regularly, it said.
It proves that either there are many BIN holders without existence or many BIN holders having businesses do not pay VAT.
The NBR introduced e-BINs to overcome the situation through bringing transparency and removing hassle in VAT registration system.
Businesses which received fresh e-BINs also requested the revenue board to continue with the nine-digit BINs, the instruction said.
A provision of the VAT Rules-1991 also supports the digitisation process of BIN registration, it said.
Until July 12, some 42,572 businesses obtained e-BINs.
Currently, both BINs remain effective.
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