Firms may be able to use their manually issued 11-digit VAT registration numbers for a further two months as the revenue authority is yet to complete the revision of the VAT Act 1991 to make it compatible with the online system.
The 11-digit numbers were supposed to become invalid on January 2018, so firms were asked to register for 9-digit e-BINs by December 31 this year to continue their activities such as export, import, participation in tenders, application for loans and so on.
“As the amendment of rules is yet to be done, we are considering extending the validity of the manually issued BINs and the deadline for re-registration for e-BINs,” said a senior official of the National Board of Revenue.
The NBR introduced online registration for VAT with 9-digit BINs in March as part of its effort to implement the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 under an automated VAT environment.
Later, in a shock move, the government deferred the implementation of the new VAT law by two years, derailing the NBR's plans. Later, the revenue authority decided to go for automation of the VAT system under the existing law. Accordingly, the NBR formed a panel with representatives from businesses to amend rules to introduce online VAT return submission.
“We are yet to finalise the changes that would be incorporated in the rules and forms,” the official said.
Meanwhile, many firms that have 11-digit BINs are yet to get e-BINs because of confusion arising out of inconsistencies in forms and rules that overlap two laws.
“We expect these businesses will get e-BINs after we fix the inconsistencies in forms,” he added.
Until Dec 19, 72,124 firms have got e-BINs. Of those, 38,635 firms have registered for BINs for the first time and 33,489 have re-registered for 9-digit BINs, according to data from the NBR.