Govt plans tax documentation drive – Newspaper

ISLAMABAD: In a breakthrough to expand the tax network and control evasion, the government has decided to develop a comprehensive plan for tax assessment at the national level and documentation to attract rich people and untapped sectors in the network.

The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has commissioned the tax department to develop a detailed plan until November 30, which provides for measures to be implemented in the next two years.

The documentation unit will help determine untapped segments, including businesses, real estate and industries. "The prime minister asked the Federal Revenue Board that the proposals in this regard be developed within the prescribed period," said a senior tax official.

On October 3, the prime minister held a meeting with senior officials to review several proposals related to the increase in national taxes. He said that correct tax measures must be taken with prompt implementation instead of getting involved in prolonged impasses.

As part of the campaign, it was also decided to adopt CNIC as a common identifier similar to the social security number in Western countries for all commercial transactions. The deadline for adoption is June 2020.

It was noted that the consolidation of data and documentation of the economy is a key responsibility of all public and private sector organizations, such as financial institutions and public utilities. The meeting ordered the Ministry of Law and Justice, in consultation with the State Bank of Pakistan, to propose the necessary amendments before December 31 in banking laws and regulations to ensure real-time data exchange of financial transactions with FBR .

Until November 30, it was also decided that commercial electricity and gas connections should be incorporated into the tax network immediately. According to reports, commercial service connections have not yet been incorporated into the tax network with rampant evasion in vogue.

They also agreed to conduct a survey of real estate in the country, a measure that will help FBR evaluate and take advantage of the colossal wealth stationed in the real estate sector. The prime minister has approved in principle the national digital real estate survey with a deadline for completion on June 30, 2021. It is worth mentioning that the Chinese digital mapping proposal is pending for the past two years.

In the first year of the government in office, the data showed that up to 783,039 new taxpayers filed statements with FBR as a result of various schemes, including amnesty. In terms of revenue, Rs2,583 million of these new filing cabinets were received.

As a result of the facilitation measures, total taxpayers in the first year of the government reached 2,561 million in TY18, compared to 1,514 million in the previous year, reflecting an increase of 69.1 percent.

It is estimated that Pakistan's revenue collection project for $ 400 million from the World Bank strengthens the RBA and creates a sustainable increase in the country's internal tax revenue. It will aim to raise the proportion of taxes on GDP to 17pc by 2023-24 and expand the network of the current 1.2m to at least 3.5m of active taxpayers.

The project will help simplify the tax regime and strengthen the tax and customs administration. It will also support FBR with digital technology and infrastructure. The government has established revenue improvement with low compliance costs as a high priority.

Posted in Dawn, November 10, 2019



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