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Pakistan's Tax Base Expanding

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

05 May 2016

More than a million tax returns were filed with Pakistan's Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the last financial year thanks to recent initiatives aimed at broadening the country's taxpayer base, Shaista Abbas, an FBR official, said.

Addressing an event at FBR House on May 4, 2016, Abbas said: "Our efforts for broadening of [the] tax base have already started paying dividends as reflected in an impressive 19 percent growth rate recorded during the first three quarters of [the] current fiscal year, with [the] FBR having already collected PKR2.1 trillion (USD20bn) in this period."

Abbas pointed out that the FBR had increased the cost of doing business for non-filers, and used national identity card data to track down potentially non-compliant taxpayers. The FBR proposes to soon use data on real estate transactions, vehicle purchases, and foreign travel to identify those not declaring income.

Also speaking at the session, Tehmina Aamer, also from the FBR, shared her views on the measures needed to make the tax system more robust. She stressed that a fair tax system should impose similar tax burdens on similarly situated individuals, while the tax burden should also be proportional to an individual's ability to pay tax.

TAGS: individuals | Pakistan | compliance | tax | business | tax compliance | tax avoidance | law | individuals in business | enforcement | ministry of finance | tax authority | tax planning | dividends | tax reform | trade | Education | Education | Tax | Tax Evasion

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