According to a presentation given by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, the tax base has been broadened significantly in the first year of the PTI government as the number of new tax return filers has more than tripled during the period.
The government facilitated people to file their returns by extending the filing deadline a record eight times. According to the data showed, as many as 783,039 new taxpayers filed returns with the tax department as a result of various schemes, including tax amnesty schemes. In terms of revenue, FBR received Rs2.583bn from these new return filers.
Last year of PML-N government, only 190,391 new taxpayers were added to the total number. Similarly, the revenue collection with those returns remained low Rs717 million during tax year 2017.
The total return filers in the first year of PTI government has reached 2.561 million in tax year 2018 as against 1.514m over the previous year, reflecting an increase of 69.1pc.
However, the presentation given by the FBR officials made no mention of the large revenue shortfall of Rs580 billion in the same year despite a significant downward revision of the target.
FBR chairman Shabbar Zaidi and his tax team briefed the premier over the performance of the tax department.
Mr Zaidi said FBR teams are visiting markets to help raise awareness in the people about online registration of mobile phones brought from abroad, currency declaration system at airports and advance passenger information system besides public awareness on smuggled goods.
He said FBR in collaboration with NADRA has introduced Sahulat Web Portal so that everyone could have access to information online, online system of FBR would be made more effective. He insisted that the FBR is facilitating businessmen in the country.
The chairman said tax refunds worth Rs16bn have already been made and another Rs17bn would be refunded by end of the current month.
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