Federal Board of Revenue began to send notices to top tax evaders of the country. The PTI government also initiated civil proceedings against top 75 tax dodgers and asked them to file income tax returns within two weeks. The government could initiate criminal proceedings against them if they failed to satisfy the tax authorities and failed to comply.
The FBR launched massive campaign and effort to widen the tax base and to recover the unpaid amount of taxes. The FBR decided to go after the big fishes that are not paying any taxes despite living a lavish and luxurious life. It picked 75 individuals and sent them 185 tax notices as a majority of them received more than one notice due to concealment of income for more than a year.
In the first phase, strict action is being taken against 169 tax evaders and non-filers with proven trail of large business transactions and financial deals in recent times, according to the FBR.
All such tax evaders have been identified by the FBR and are being proceeded against for the recovery of payable tax besides being subjected to heavy fines and penalties for failing to fulfill tax obligations, says the FBR.
These people have been identified by capturing their spending patterns. The FBR said these people have purchased properties of over Rs20 million, 1,800cc or larger engine cars, or have received rent to the tune of Rs10 million or more in a year. They did not bother to file tax returns and were not in the list of taxpayers, said the FBR.
The drive for the recovery of tax from these big tax evaders is being launched across Pakistan without any discrimination, it added. The FBR has the authority to start criminal proceedings under Section 192A that allows courts to impose a fine of up to Rs500, 000 or imprisonment of up to two years, or both.
The FBR faces a gigantic task for broadening its extremely narrow tax base. In the last fiscal year 2017-18 about 1.4 million people filed their income tax returns. But during the statutory deadline of September 30, the FBR received less than 350,000 tax returns this year, forcing it to give two months extension.
The crackdown on the high-value targets has been launched on the instruction of Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar as part of the government’s efforts, said the FBR.
The FBR has further warned the tax evaders to file their tax returns and pay their due taxes within the due date as the government is committed to reviving the national economy by introducing and promoting a healthy tax culture under which all Pakistanis pay their due taxes and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
Pakistan has one of the lowest taxes to GDP ratio not only in the world but also in South Asia. Prime Minister Imran khan promised to double the size of tax revenues. The PTI government is seriously trying to widen the tax net.
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26 May, 2019