Wednesday May 29, 2024

FBR cracks down on non-filers

By Mehtab Haider
October 03, 2018

ISLAMABAD: In its crackdown on potential tax dodgers, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has served notices on 185 individuals who’ve made up to Rs1.54 billion property transactions in the last four tax years.

The notices to 185 non-filers have been sent after getting their verified addresses from the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

Out of a total of 75 cases, the bureau has dispatched notices to 185 individuals. Out of 75 cases, 42 cases have been selected from three major cities — Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

After smartening up its crackdown policy, the bureau has jacked up the limit of property transactions from Rs20 million to Rs45 million for selection of second batch of high net value individuals.

In the second batch, the FBR identified an individual who made biggest transactions of Rs1.54 billion.

The minimum benchmark for property transaction was increased from Rs20 million to Rs45 million for sending notices to tax evaders.

The FBR selected second batch of high worth unregistered individuals from Cash Payment Receipts (CPRs) which were available with it on the basis of selling and purchasing properties and the tax paid on them.

Director General FBR Broadening to Tax Base (BTB) Tanvir Malik Tuesday said they had established a centralised system for issuing notices to high net worth individuals and developed a similar system for following their cases.

He said the BTB teams would pursue cases in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, and in case of other cities respective Regional Taxpayer Offices (RTOs) would ensure compliance of receiving income tax returns. In case of non-compliance, he said the law of the land would take its course. However, the sources said the FBR had selected 75 cases in which they sent out notices to 185 individuals on the basis of transactions made in the last four tax years. The FBR has set the benchmark for selection of cases having value of transaction of Rs45 million minimum and for sending more notices they will have to slash down the limit that might result into wasting energies on low-profile cases in which the FBR will not be able to generate desired tax revenues.

The success of whole campaign depends on how effectively the FBR pursues these cases in next few months.

“The result of crackdown should come on surface within three months, as it will determine how much tax demand is generated and how much is collected into the national kitty. According to the FBR’s official announcement made on Tuesday, in a large swoop to widen the tax net and ensure tax compliance across Pakistan, a massive drive had been started for recovery of taxes from big and influential tax evaders. The crackdown has been launched on the instructions of Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar.

In the first phase, strict action is being taken against 169 tax evaders and non-filers with proven trail of large business transactions and financial deals made in recent times.

All such tax evaders have been identified by the FBR and are being proceeded against for recovery of payable tax besides being subjected to heavy fines and penalties for failing to fulfill their tax obligations.

The FBR has also decided to start an action, in a phased manner, against all those tax evaders who have purchased properties over Rs20 million, or purchased 1800CC or larger engine cars, or received rent to the tune of Rs10 million or more in a year but did not bother to file tax returns.

The drive for the recovery of tax from these big tax evaders is being launched across Pakistan without any discrimination.