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FBR Tightens Grip on Withholding Tax with Fiscal Device Mandate for SWAPS Agents

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The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has instructed withholding tax agents, known as “SWAPS Agents,” to set up electronic devices and software to handle transactions subject to withholding tax.

In line with this directive, the FBR issued draft SWAPS rules via S.R.O. 1846(I)/2023 on Friday. These new regulations outline the requirements and responsibilities for SWAPS agents as defined in the rules.

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The term “SWAPS” refers to the FBR’s web-based portal or any computerized system used by designated SWAPS Agents, which is integrated with the Board for processing payments related to goods and services.

Upon notification by the Board, SWAPS Agents cannot conduct specific transactions unless the CNIC, NTN, and IBAN of the withholdee match.

The sole evidence of tax collection or deduction, including for refund claims or tax credits, will be the SWAPS Payment Receipt (SPR).

Should a notified SWAPS Agent encounter delays in registration or integration, they may request an extension through the Commissioner, lnland Revenue via lRlS, stating the reasons for the delay.

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The “SWAPS Payment Receipt” will serve as the proof of payment for transactions conducted by a SWAPS Agent. This receipt will contain details prescribed by the Board, such as SWAPS-ID, SPR number, name, address, NTN, and STRN of the SWAPS Agent and supplier, quantity, description of goods or services, and specifics regarding partial payments, including their numbers, dates, and amounts. Additionally, it will include the vendor number, where applicable, as stipulated by the rules.

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