ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s main tax mechanisms have almost finalized a comprehensive tax base broadening strategy that could be implemented with a documentation campaign in January, Dawn learned from knowledgeable sources.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collected information on 7.2 million people from various sources – banks, utility organizations, and excise and tax services – and shared it with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) for verification.
At the same time, Nadra has put aside the data of 15 million people from her own database. Nadra will process the data to compare against certain indicators using artificial intelligence to identify non-filers, official source said Dawn.
“We expect to receive the final list of potential taxpayers by the end of the current month,” the official said, adding that the list would only include people who did not exist on the tax roll of the government. FBR.
President says documentation campaign, due to start in January, not yet finalized
Asked how many non-filers or tax evaders could be identified in the process, the source said it was too early to say anything. âIt could be a million, maybe less or more. You cannot exclude the presence of names of taxpayers in the data collected, âadded the source.
The list would be uploaded to the RBF website for general public information, the source said, adding that the data would also be uploaded to a dedicated interactive app so people can verify their contact details. On the interactive app, people could also verify or reject information held about them, the source said.
A dedicated period will be granted to people to file their declarations on a voluntary basis. The literature campaign will begin in January with a media campaign urging people to voluntarily submit to the tax net. Legal action will be taken after the time limit for voluntary filing of income tax returns.
Talk to DawnRBF Chairman Ashfaq Ahmed said a new concept was being developed to collect taxes owed from all potential taxpayers. Income tax commissioners on the ground are working on these lines to bring the untaxed sector into the tax network, he added.
Regarding the documentation reader, he said nothing has been finalized so far. However, he said FBR was working with Nadra to lure potential taxpayers into the net.
On the issue of data, the RBF Chairman said the data would be available to potential and current taxpayers in a presentable and understandable way through a web portal. Pragmatic steps had been initiated for the compilation of the data with the support of Nadra, he added.
IRS Intelligence Service
The FBR chairman said he had instructed the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) Intelligence and Investigative Service to limit their work to investigating and not collecting untaxed money.
In the past, he has said that the way the intelligence service works is against income tax law. The law does not allow the investigation and recovery of money from tax evaders, he said.
Mr Ashfaq said that from now on, the directors of the investigation service would send their offense reports to the director general who, after evaluation, would submit them to the functioning of the members of the IRS.
After member-level verification, the report will then be sent to the relevant regional tax office or large taxpayer unit for implementation, the president said.
Mr Ahmed said that there has been a dramatic increase in benami cases. He further stated that there had been no slowdown in the work of FBR, which he said had “multiplied”.
Posted in Dawn, December 26, 2021