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Taxation of Exports in Pakistan

Export taxation is a significant component of a country’s tax system, and it plays an important role in the growth of its economy. In Pakistan, the taxation of exports is governed by the Sales Tax Act, 1990, and the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. This article provides a detailed overview of the taxation of exports in Pakistan, including definitions, rates, exemptions, and registration requirements.


Definition of Exports

In Pakistan, exports refer to the sale of goods or services to a buyer who is located outside of Pakistan. This includes the sale of goods to a person who is carrying them out of Pakistan, or to a person who is using them to fulfill an export order.

Exports and Sales Tax

In Pakistan, exports are zero-rated for sales tax purposes. This means that no sales tax is charged on the sale of goods or services that are exported from Pakistan. However, businesses that export goods or services must register for sales tax and file regular sales tax returns with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Exports and Income Tax

Export income is subject to income tax in Pakistan. The income tax rates for export income are the same as the rates for other types of income. However, there are some tax incentives and exemptions that are available to businesses that export goods or services.


Tax Incentives and Exemptions for Exporters

The government of Pakistan offers several tax incentives and exemptions to businesses that export goods or services. These include:

Duty drawbacks:

Exporters can claim a refund of the customs duty paid on imported raw materials or components used in the production of exported goods.

Income tax exemptions:

Exporters are eligible for income tax exemptions on their export earnings for a period of up to five years.

Export Development Fund (EDF):

The EDF provides financial support to exporters to help them improve their competitiveness in international markets. The fund is used to finance research and development, training, and other activities that promote exports.

Reduced tax rates:

The government of Pakistan has reduced the tax rates for certain industries, such as textiles and leather, to help promote exports.

Export Registration

Businesses that engage in the export of goods or services must register with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). The registration process involves submitting an application along with supporting documents, such as the business registration certificate, national tax number, and bank account details.


Export Documentation

Exporters must comply with several documentation requirements when exporting goods or services from Pakistan. These include:

Export declaration:

Exporters must file an export declaration with the customs authorities, providing details of the goods being exported, their value, and their destination.

Commercial invoice:

Exporters must provide a commercial invoice to the buyer, detailing the goods being sold, their value, and the terms of sale.

Bill of lading:

The bill of lading is a document that provides proof of shipment and details of the goods being transported.

Export license:

Some goods, such as certain types of machinery and chemicals, require an export license from the relevant government agency.

Export Audits

The FBR has the authority to conduct audits on businesses that export goods or services to ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations. During an audit, the FBR will review the business’s export records and may request additional information or documentation.

If the FBR identifies any non-compliance issues during the audit, the business may be subject to penalties, fines, and other enforcement actions.


In conclusion, the taxation of exports in Pakistan is an important component of the country’s tax system. Businesses that export goods or services must comply with several tax and documentation requirements, but they are also eligible for tax incentives and exemptions. By promoting exports and supporting businesses that engage in international trade, the Pakistani government aims to boost the country’s economy and create more job opportunities for its citizens. However, it is important for businesses to comply with all tax and regulatory requirements to avoid penalties and legal issues.

Overall, the taxation of exports in Pakistan can be complex and requires a thorough understanding of the country’s tax laws and regulations. It is recommended that businesses seeking to export goods or services from Pakistan consult with a tax professional or legal expert to ensure compliance with all requirements and take advantage of available tax incentives and exemptions.