FBR’s Single Tax Return Portal: Updates and Implementation Timeline

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) website recently introduced updates related to the concept of a single cell tax return portal. This article explores these updates and the potential timeline for full implementation.


  • In December 2021, FBR launched a new tax return filing portal.
  • The initial concept envisioned a “single cell” system, where all tax returns would be filed on this unified platform.
  • This initiative aligns with IMF requirements for a centralized tax return filing system.

Initial Functionality:

  • The first return filed on the new portal was a sales tax return.
  • The portal’s name itself (“single cell”) suggested an eventual inclusion of all FBR return types.

Expected Expansion:

  • The plan was to integrate returns for income tax (PR), wealth tax (SRB), and other sub-systems within FBR.
  • Unfortunately, this hasn’t been fully implemented yet.

Recent Updates:

  • A new “Invoice Management” section has been added.
  • This suggests ongoing development to potentially integrate invoice data with return filing for different authorities (like PRA, SRB).
  • The telecommunication sector’s return filing is already functional on the portal, hinting at a gradual expansion to other sectors.

Implementation Timeline:

  • The exact timeline for full implementation remains unclear.
  • Speculation suggests an announcement in the upcoming budget regarding:
    • Mandatory use of the single portal for sales tax returns.
    • Potential inclusion of PR and SRB return filing on the same platform.
  • Following the 18th amendment, sub-national tax authorities might also be integrated, allowing for a unified return filing system across all tax types.

Unresolved Questions:

  • Clarity is needed on how sub-national tax deposits will be handled.
  • Will a single payment gateway be used, or will deposits still be made to relevant authorities?
  • The process for generating receipts (PRs) also needs clarification. Will they be issued by FBR or the respective authority based on the tax type?


The FBR’s single tax return portal is a work in progress. Recent updates indicate a move towards a unified system, but a clear timeline and details regarding tax deposits and PR generation are still awaited. As the system evolves, taxpayers should stay informed and adapt to the digitalization efforts of the FBR.

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