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Govt may link NADRA data with FBR in upcoming budget

Govt may link NADRA data with FBR in upcoming budget

ISLAMABAD: In a major budget proposal, the government may integrate the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) databank with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) aimed at unearthing hidden assets of citizens to enhance revenue collection.

The budget proposal also includes getting real-time access to the data of provincial land and tax authorities, housing societies and telecommunication companies, sources in the FBR told.

A rationale behind the proposal was to increase the number of income tax returns and wealth statements being submitted annually by the taxpayers, said the sources.

FBR officials said they had proposed the inclusion of new sections in the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 and Sales Tax Act 1990 to legalise access to NADRA database.

The FBR has been changing its laws but lacks their enforcement, which has resulted in a stagnant tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio with only 2.5 million income tax return filers.

However, the actual number of people paying taxes runs into more than 50 million due to various kinds of withholding taxes that the government has imposed.

In fiscal year 2019-20 budget, the federal government also introduced the condition of compulsory disclosure of Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) number on purchases of over Rs50,000 in a day.