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FBR aims to bring five million under tax net in two years

FBR aims to bring five million under tax net in two years

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) aims to bring the number of income tax return filers to five million in the next couple of years as the tally of active taxpayers has already crossed 2.1 million for tax year 2018, an official said on Friday.

“In order to achieve five-million-milestone, the FBR has launched several measures to encourage/force persons having taxable income to file their returns,” said Badar-ud-Din Ahmad Qureshi, Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue, Regional Tax Office (RTO)-II Karachi, at a press conference.

The chief commissioner said in the first phase the RTO Karachi would ask large corporate entities and provincial departments to assure return-filing by their employees having taxable income.

He said the tax office had found out that the employees of large organisations such as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Pakistan Railways (PR), etc had taxable income but were not filing their income tax returns.

“They are even paying income tax at sources, which was deducted at the time of salary disbursement,” he added. Qureshi said the RTO-II Karachi would set up camp offices at various organisations including PIA, NBP, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), police department, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Water Board, Sindh Building Control Authority, etc for the enforcement of return-filing.

The office had also received details of doctors, the chief commissioner said, adding that Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) had 68,000 registered doctors of which only 6,500 were filing annual income tax returns.

Qureshi said from Monday July 22, 2019 the tax office would also send special teams to markets and shopping plazas for facilitating traders and retailers to file their income tax returns, while persons working from homes would also be brought into the tax net.

Going forward, transactions would be not easy to conceal as the FBR, with the help of other regulators, had established an electronic system for information sharing, the tax official said.

He said the FBR was facing enforcement issues due to human resource capacity crunch for which it had engaged a non-government organisation (NGO) for facilitating the taxpayers.

“The volunteers from the NGO will file returns of those who did not want to pay fees to lawyers,” Qureshi said and added that a training session for those volunteers had recently been held at the tax office.