The taxman cometh: FBR to send notices to 700,000 tax evaders

Published: March 20, 2011
Email
Government may lower corporate income tax rates in phases.

Government may lower corporate income tax rates in phases.

KARACHI: 

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will begin sending out notices to over 700,000 individuals on Monday, instructing them to obtain national taxpayer numbers (NTNs) and start paying taxes, said FBR chief Salman Siddiqui on Saturday.

Siddiqui said that the FBR, in collaboration with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), had identified 2.3 million individuals who were not registered with tax authorities and evading taxes. The FBR has obtained key information about tax dodgers including their addresses and photographs.

However, given the lack of adequate personnel at the FBR, they will begin pursuing cases against a short-list of evaders.

“FBR is not a huge organisation so we cannot go after everyone at once,” said Siddiqui. “We have decided to prioritise recovery from 700,000 individuals because these are people who have considerable incomes and are still not paying their dues.”

The FBR will give a month to these individuals to obtain their NTNs, following which, if they have failed to begin paying taxes, further action against them will be taken.

“Initially we will adopt a facilitative attitude so that these people are encouraged to come clean but after this term expires, the FBR will prosecute these people under the relevant laws,” warned the FBR chairman.

Salman Siddiqui and a team of FBR officials arrived in Karachi on Friday to consult with businesses and other stakeholders regarding the upcoming federal budget. However most of their time here has been taken up deliberating over changes in taxes announced on March 15th, 2011. Through a series of statutory regulatory orders, the FBR has repealed tax exemptions for a variety of companies and goods.

Addressing the concerns of the business community over these tax increases, Siddiqui said that the finance minister would also be coming to Karachi to address these matters.

Corporate taxes to go down

The FBR chairman revealed that the government was considering lowering the corporate income tax rates. At 35 per cent, Pakistan’s corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world, though many corporations are able to claim exemptions and reduce their effective tax rate.

“Corporate tax rates should be lowered in phases within 3 to 5 years,” said Siddiqui, adding that the proposal would be part of the upcoming budget.

The chairman pointed out that a much more structural approach was needed to address the government’s chronic fiscal deficits. “Implementation of reformed general sales tax is one of the steps in this direction,” said Siddiqui.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (9)

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 9:08AM

    Time for everyone who argues that we shouldn’t be slaves to American financing to put their money where their patriotism is. Until Pakistan isnt economically independent no number of nuclear weapons is going to make Pakistan invincible. Lets see what these 700,000 odd individuals react. Recommend

  • Abdul Ali
    Mar 20, 2011 - 1:11PM

    Please start with taxing members of Parliament who drive around in Pajero and Prada and have private guards.
    These are the people who tax other citizens.

    Let the show begin………………………………………Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 2:04PM

    @TightDhoti:
    Absolutely correct. The faster it’s done the happier the nation will be. (Your login ID is pretty jocular). Salams for 2011.Recommend

  • Waqas
    Mar 20, 2011 - 3:43PM

    Behind the bars is the place of all the elites of Pakistan, let them know FBR is coming.Recommend

  • Thameena
    Mar 20, 2011 - 6:07PM

    It is about time the west woke up and stopped funding pakistan,s welfare budget when the elite get away without paying tax, pakistan is their country and they should fund their welfare state.Recommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Mar 20, 2011 - 7:50PM

    Have they started from the top?Recommend

  • zafar
    Mar 20, 2011 - 9:14PM

    (THE BIG FISHES) to be accounted for as early as possible.Make sure the collection is not pushed out of country.VVIP Culture is the main rootcause of downfall of our mother nation.
    thanks Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 9:25PM

    How is it possible to evade taxes without active collaboration of the authorities .Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 21, 2011 - 3:14AM

    Why do people here act so optimastic!! this is another trick of the rich to keep the poor without it!!!
    If they were serious about taxation issue, then why has it taken over 50 yeras to realise!! and does one believe that those who have evaded the tax, are simply going to line up and pay!!! wake up people this is pakistan!!!!! this is a drama solely for the benefit of global lenders, so that the government can show that attempts are being made to change their fiscal policies, please note this is for the benefit of the idiot goras who are lending money to support the pakistan economy.
    As recent meeting with IMF, pakistan did not get clean bill of health or letter of comfort, so they can go around to lending institutions with their basket to borrow more money!!!!
    Nice trick!!! i sugesst that honourable president and his kitchen cabinet start with provideing bonafide tax returns!!! followed by generals in the army , and other civil service personnel, perhaps pakistan’s immediate problems in short run will be sustainable from these collections alone!!!
    so much for having nuclear bombs !!! by the way this also was acheived thru stolen technology.Recommend

More in Pakistan