The National Board of Revenue on Thursday extended the validity of manually issued 11-digit old business identification numbers (BIN) up to March 31 next year as huge number of potential firms has refrained from obtaining online BINs.
Also, the revenue board was yet to complete legal procedures including amendment of law to make the electronically generated nine-digit BINs mandatory for business activities including export-import, manufacturing, opening letter of credit, participating in tenders and obtaining loans from scheduled January 1.
Old BINs, best known as VAT registration numbers, was scheduled to be invalid from December 31.
VAT authority would have to amend the Value-Added Tax Rules-1991 to make it compatible with the online system before making use of e-BINs mandatory.
The revenue board on Thursday issued a public notice amending the previous notice of July 27 in this connection.
Existing or old BIN holders would also be able to obtain e-BINs until March 31, it said.
Old BIN would instantly be invalid, once a firm received e-BIN and traders would conduct their business and VAT-related activities only using the new BINs, stated the notice containing the instructions of using both old and e-BINs.
Till Thursday, only 75,923 firms received e-BINs though there are 8.50 lakh old BIN holders in the country.
Officials, however, said that only around 37,000 businesses regularly filed VAT returns.
It means that there was huge number of non-existent BIN holding firms in the country while many do not submit returns despite having businesses, they said.
According to NBR notice, new firms having more than one business unit would have to obtain manually issued 11-digit BIN for each unit, if the unit does not have separate electronic taxpayers identification number (e-TIN) and bank account.
Businesses that already received central e-BIN but could not obtain it for branches due to not having separate e-TINs and bank account would continue their business activities with old BINs until March 31.
The revenue board, however, would not issue any 11-digit BINs from January 1 next year to any non-commercial organisations including government office, NGOs, embassy, international organisations and universities that do not have e-TINs or National ID Card and to other entities except those which cannot obtain e-BINs due to lack of e-TINs and bank accounts.
VAT authority would forcefully issue nine-digit BINs for the entities, it said.
The NBR started issuing e-BINs from March in a bid to automate its VAT system under the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 which was supposed to come into force from July this year.
The government deferred the implementation of the law until July 2019 following strong opposition from the business community.
The NBR, however, decided to continue VAT automation process under the 1991 VAT law by amending the rules and regulations.
Officials involved with the development said that amendment procedures for making e-BINs mandatory would be completed soon.
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