Around 95 per cent of the businesses having VAT registration were still conducting import-export and other activities with their old identification numbers (BINs) the validity of which is set to expire just after 10 days.
Only less than 5.0 per cent of the existing 8,65,000 BIN-holders obtained the new electronic Business Identification Number (e-BIN) until December 19 this year, officials said.
Some 72,124 businesses obtained the new nine-digit e-BINs. Of them, 33,489 are existing businesses and 38,635 new ones. Some 53.57 per cent businesses have obtained the new VAT registration numbers.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR), through a public notice issued on July 27 last, requested all VAT-registered businesses to obtain e-BINs within December 31, 2017 as the existing eleven-digit BINs would not be considered valid after the deadline.
Talking to the FE, a senior VAT official said many businesses among the existing BIN-holders had obtained multiple BINs earlier. So, the actual number of VAT-registered businesses would come down significantly.
He said the VAT authority could not make sure that the businesses will have to comply with the submission of returns, resulting in many unutilised BINs.
Only 32,000 businesses out of the total 8,65,000 BIN-holders submitted VAT returns every month.
He said the VAT authority might extend the deadline by one month to facilitate the businesses to complete re-registration and obtain the e-BINs.
The NBR is also preparing for the VAT online system to introduce online return submission system on a mandatory basis, he said.
The official said the number of new BIN-holders would stand at 1,50,000. There will be no gap between BIN-holders and VAT return submissions after the online VAT return system coming into force.
The NBR introduced online BINs on March 23 last as part of a ground work for the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 that the government deferred until June 2019.
However, the NBR was preparing relevant rules to bring the online VAT system under the existing VAT law 1991.
Officials said the VAT system would be automated under the existing VAT law by amending few provisions and forms to ensure legal back up for the system.