Foreign TV drama/serial: FBR to collect advance tax after broadcast of first episode
The Federal Board of Revenue will collect advance tax after the broadcast of single episode drama/serial of any foreign TV, play dubbed in Urdu or any other regional language to enforce section 236E of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. The FBR on Wednesday issued a procedure to the Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) for collection of advance tax on foreign produced drama.
According to the FBR, the Finance Act, 2013 has inserted a new Section 236E of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 whereby, an licensing authority certifying any foreign TV drama serial or a play dubbed in Urdu or any other regional language, for screening and viewing on any landing rights channel has to collect advance tax at the rate of Rs 100,000 for single episode of foreign produced drama or for each episode of a serial.
Field formations have apprised the Board that certain confusions exist regarding licensing and certifying authority mentioned in the said section. It is also brought to the notice of the Board that procedure to be adopted for the implementation of the said section be explained, the FBR said. It is therefore clarified that the licensing and certifying authority for the purpose of section 236E is Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).
The FBR said the tax is to be collected after the broadcast of the single episode drama/serial, since it is only after the programme/episode is broadcasted that Pemra under section 27 of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002 prohibits or allows it to continue the broadcast of drama/serial.
If the broadcast is not prohibited for any of the conditions mentioned in aforesaid section 27, it tantamount to certifying the broadcast, the FBR said. The FBR further said that the word “certifying” appearing in section 236E does not necessarily mean to certify in writing. It only means to guarantee as meeting specified standards as contained in section 27(a) and (b) of Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002, which is manifested if Pemra does not prohibit, under the said section, the broadcast of drama/serial episodes by landing rights channels.
It clarified that even if Pemra prohibits the broadcast of any serial/drama, tax is still to be collected, since collection of tax is not linked with the contents of the serial/drama. After the collection of tax and its deposit in the exchequer, withholding statement under section 165 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, is to be filed as prescribed, the FBR added.