FBR mak­ing ef­forts to broaden tax base

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

re­gion in the East, West and Cen­tral Asia. Ad­dress­ing the first busi­ness ses­sion of Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB) an­nual meet­ing here, Dar host for hold­ing the Min­is­te­rial Con­fer­ence of CAREC this year, he added. “I feel priv­i­leged to take part in this mo­men­tous event and to IS­LAM­ABAD—Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue (FBR) is mak­ing ef­forts to broaden the tax base and sev­eral ini­tia­tives have been taken in the re­cent past to in­crease the num­ber of re­turn fil­ers which has for the first time crossed one mil­lion mark. “Our ef­forts for broad­en­ing tax base have al­ready started pay­ing div­i­dends as re­flected in an im­pres­sive 19 % growth rate recorded dur­ing the first three quar­ters of cur­rent fis­cal year with FBR hav­ing al­ready col­lected Rs 2103 bil­lion in this pe­riod,” said Mem­ber Fa­cil­i­ta­tion and Tax­pay­ers Ed­u­ca­tion (FATE) FBR, Shaista Ab­bas while an­swer­ing queries of par­tic­i­pants of 21st Mid-Ca­reer Man­age­ment Course from Na­tional In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Quetta dur­ing their visit to FBR House here on Wed­nes­day.

She wel­comed the vis­it­ing of­fi­cers and briefly told them about the man­date, work­ing and per­for­mance of the FBR. She said FBR be­ing the sole in­sti­tu­tion re­spon­si­ble for re­source mo­bi­liza­tion and rev­enue gen­er­a­tion faced a dif­fi­cult task of col­lect­ing tax rev­enue but the stren­u­ous and ded­i­cated ef­forts of the of­fi­cers and work­force of FBR were help­ing broaden the tax net. She told the par­tic­i­pants, FBR had also in­creased the cost of do­ing busi­ness for non­fil­ers while CNICs had also been con­verted into NTNs to track down po­ten­tial tax­pay­ers through their rou­tine fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions.

To an­other query, Shaista Ab­bas said FBR had for­mu­lated a strat­egy to go af­ter the tax-evaders by us­ing in­for­ma­tion ob­tained from their trans­ac­tions in the real es­tate sec­tor, pur­chase of ve­hi­cles, for­eign trav­els and also by ac­cess­ing, in the long run, their bank ac­counts to as­sess the ex­tent of tax avoid­ance and tax eva­sion. Ear­lier, Tehmina Aamer, Chief Mem­ber Fa­cil­i­ta­tion and Tax­payer Ed­u­ca­tion (FATE), FBR, gave a de­tailed pre­sen­ta­tion on the work­ing and per­for­mance of FBR in broad­en­ing the tax net and en­hanc­ing the tax-to-GDP ra­tio.

She also shared with the of­fi­cers var­i­ous loop­holes and weak­nesses in the cur­rent tax­a­tion sys­tem and what mea­sures were re­quired to make the sys­tem more ro­bust. She ar­gued that for a ro­bust tax­a­tion sys­tem, com­pli­ant tax­pay­ers, in­de­pen­dent tax author­ity, sim­pli­fied tax laws and pro­ce­dures and a vi­brant tax ma­chin­ery are es­sen­tial. Sim­i­larly, a fair tax sys­tem should im­pose sim­i­lar tax bur­dens on sim­i­larly si­t­u­ated in­di­vid­u­als while tax bur­dens should also be pro­por­tional to an in­di­vid­ual’s abil­ity to pay tax, she added.—APP

IS­LAM­ABAD: Par­tic­i­pants of 21st Mid-Ca­reer Man­age­ment Course from Na­tional In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Quetta with FBR of­fi­cials dur­ing an in­land study visit to FBR House.

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