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Recovery of taxes: 164 ‘big fishes’ served final notices

Recovery of taxes: 164 ‘big fishes’ served final notices

SIALKOT: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued final notices to as many as 164 big exporters-turned- chronic defaulters, warning to clear their outstanding dues within 10 days otherwise their bank accounts will be frozen. It has been learnt that the FBR has decided to freeze the bank accounts of the defaulters if they fail to clear their dues in the stipulated time.

According to the senior FBR officials, seeking anonymity, the FBR Gujranwala Region has scrutinized as many as 1,000 cases of the defaulters of Sales Tax and Withholding Tax. The board has issued final notices and warning for early payment of the prolonged outstanding dues (to the tune of millions of rupees) within a stipulate period of the next ten days.

The FBR officials revealed that the FBR had decided to freeze bank accounts of the above-mentioned 164 big fish exporters-turned-chronic defaulters if the fail to pay their dues, adding that the board was committed to ensuring 100 percent recovery from the defaulters.

They claimed that the FBR Inland Revenue Department had issued notices to these defaulters a year ago for clearing their dues till July 2013 but they paid little heed.

The officials confirmed that the 164 exporters in the region had not paid their sales tax and withholding tax since long. They revealed that owners of several textile mills and exporters related with the cutlery industry were involved in the tax evasion since long.

The FBR officials advised the defaulters to get benefit of the additional ten days period voluntarily, otherwise, the authorities would deducted the outstanding amounts from their bank accounts.

Meanwhile, the exporters and industrialists have expressed grave concern over the situation, alleging that the FBR officials were harassing and pressurizing them. They said that FBR’s direct access to their bank accounts was a hanging sword for the industrialists and exporters. They asked the government to take notice of this critical situation and stop the FBR’s the alleged ‘highhandedness.’