ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has emphasised the importance of the IT industry in Pakistan's future prosperity during his budget speech.
The government has made major efforts to alleviate the difficulties experienced by freelancers and the industry as a whole because it recognises its potential as a driver of economic growth.
Pakistan now ranks second in the world for freelancing, making it a worldwide leader.
The government has implemented a 0.25% concessional income tax rate for freelancers in order to boost exports and ease corporate operations.
Until June 30, 2026, this advantageous tax status will remain in effect. Additionally, freelancers now have access to refunds on exports up to $24,000 annually and an exemption from sales tax registration.
By easing the burden of monthly tax filing, this policy intends to free up freelancers' time for productive work. Additionally, a one page income tax return that has been streamlined just for this category has been established.
The government has given IT and IT-enabled service companies the right to import software and hardware equal to 1% of their exports without paying any taxes in order to support their growth.
The yearly cap on these imports has been set at $50k. A hassle-free experience would be offered via the issuing of Automated Exemption Certificates for IT exporters, which will further streamline the procedure.
Given the importance of the IT industry, it has been granted Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) classification, allowing it to take advantage of reduced income tax rates.
The government intends to create a Venture Capital Fund with an initial budget of 5 billion rupees in order to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. This fund will give IT firms and projects the vital beginning cash they require.
The sales tax rate for IT services within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector will also be decreased from 15% to 5%, according to the Finance Minister. This approach tries to encourage development and draw in additional capital.