KARACHI: Non-filers of income tax returns for tax year 2018 will not be able to purchase properties till June 30, 2020, a senior tax official said on Friday, underscoring a need of filing by end of the current month.
Badaruddin Qureshi, chief commissioner of Inland Revenue Regional Tax Office-II, Karachi told media that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) gives an opportunity to non-compliant taxpayers to fulfill their liability of filing annual return and wealth statement up to March 31.
Qureshi said non-filers had been barred from purchasing immovable properties above Rs5 million since July 1, 2018. Another provision was introduced through the finance act under which late filers would also not be included into the active taxpayers list (ATL) from tax year 2018 and onwards.
The commissioner said the appearance on ATL is mandatory for a return filer to avail concessionary rates of withholding tax and purchasing immovable properties.
Qureshi said the first ATL issued on March carried around 1.6 million return filers for tax year 2018. “However, to facilitate the taxpayers the FBR extended the last date for filing returns up to March 31,” he added.
The chief commissioner said the FBR estimated two million income tax returns for tax year 2018. On ongoing broadening of tax base campaign and raids against non-compliant taxpayers, he said various classes of individuals are required to file income tax returns and wealth statement under section 114 of Income Tax Ordinance 2001.
“The broadening of tax base cell has obtained a large number of third party information,” he said. The action would start after the expiry of last date.
Qureshi said the last date of return filing was extended on the request of chambers, tax practitioners and other stakeholders to provide opportunity to non-compliant taxpayers before taking any harsh action.
The tax official said individuals who could not file returns till previous cut-off date (December 15, 2018) for salaried persons, business individuals and companies with special accounting year and December 31, 2018 for corporate entities can avail the revised last date.
“The returns filed during this period will appear on ATL to be issued on April 1, 2019,” he added.
Sources said the FBR headquarters assigned a target of returns filing of around 30,000 by each RTO in order to enhance the number of active taxpayers.
The sources further added that the FBR would introduce an amendment to tax law to restrict non-filers from purchasing immovable properties till June 30, 2020.
They said the return filers for tax year 2019 would appear on the ATL to be issued on March 1, 2020 as per existing law.