Saturday October 23, 2021

Failing to file tax returns: FBR serves notices on 8,32,000 non-filers

December 27, 2020

ISLAMABAD: After receiving over 2.2 million income tax returns along with paid tax of Rs35 billion so far, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has served notices on 8,32,000 non-filers for failing to file their tax returns during the current fiscal year.

The FBR had received a total of 2.7 million tax returns during the last fiscal 2019-20 leaving a gap so notices have been sent to those failing to file their income tax returns.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood Saturday told this reporter that the total number of filed returns stood at 22,15,125 (2.215 million) along with paid tax amount of Rs35 billion so far against 19,93,117 with paid tax amount of Rs16.18 billion.

“The paid tax amount along with the income tax returns has doubled in the current fiscal year,” he added.

However, official sources said there were 66,000 individuals, who had sought double extension for 15 days each time.

The FBR has granted them extension but there were 832,000 filers who neither filed their returns nor sought extension.

“We have served them tax notices to ascertain why they did not bother to file their returns,” official sources said, adding that the law would take its course if the reply was not received or was found unsatisfactory.

The FBR has so achieved over 4 percent revenue growth in the first five months of the current fiscal year and for achieving the desired tax collection target, it requires 40 percent growth in remaining seven months.

The FBR’s target of December 2020 possesses significance so efforts are underway to achieve the desired results. The FBR had envisaged a tax collection target of Rs4963 billion and the tax machinery fixed target of 45 percent for first half of the current fiscal year.

It is a challenge for the incumbent regime that the FBR’s tax collection remained flat at Rs4 trillion in last two fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The last fiscal year could be blamed on eruption of COVID-19 pandemic for the flat revenue growth because in pre-COVID-19 scenario, the FBR was achieving revenue growth in the range of 16 to 17 percent that nosedived substantially after the outbreak of deadly Coronavirus.

According to the FBR’s official statement issued on Saturday, the taxpayers, who filed Income Tax Returns till 8th December, 2020 were 1.78 million. That number has further increased to 2.19 million with the addition of 377,766 more returns filed from 9th December till the issuance of the statement. Income Tax paid during filing of returns stood at Rs31 billion.

The number of Income Tax Returns for previous year till the same period was 1.98 million and the tax paid was Rs16 billion. This year, there is twofold increase in income tax paid with the annual returns.