According to the member of FBR, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa filed his tax returns a month before the due date. General Bajwa set the example for others to follow. He himself set the practical example to establish rule of law and fulfilled his national obligation on time. The sources in the FBR also revealed that Army chief has made it mandatory for military officers to file tax return to get promotions.
This move clearly shows the army as an institution is playing its active role to broaden the tax net and base. The military endorses campaign for broadening of the tax base, said Dr Hamid Atique, a member of the FBR. He said a total of Rs393 million taxes were collected from the Pakistan army. He said the military is the most active institution in terms of filing of tax returns, adding that the trend of submission of tax returns is high in the institution.
“Being non-filer could now affect promotions in the army,” said Sarwar while responding to a question about the tax contributions by the Pakistan Army. The comments have been made at a time when the tax authorities face a gigantic task of broadening the extremely narrow tax base.
Only two days are left in the close of the last deadline for filing the income tax returns. However, only 900,000 (0.9 million) people and companies have submitted their returns. Last year, around 1.4 million taxpayers filed returns.
Broadening of the tax base and catching tax thieves are among the main goals of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. In the past, the military has also publically expressed concerns over the low tax collection in the country, although it falls in the civilian jurisdiction.
The member FBR said before reduction in individual income tax rates, the army alone was paying nearly Rs398 million per month in income tax on the salaries, bringing its annual contribution to Rs4.8 billion. He said the military and its welfare organisations are also deducting withholding taxes on various transactions.
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17 November, 2019