FBR to set up task force to broaden tax net

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue has decided to set up a task force at its headquarters to issue notices to rich people in a countrywide campaign to broaden the tax net.
A source in the FBR told Dawn on Monday that notices would be issued to about 11,000 people this month.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had announced in the budget that 500,000 rich people would be brought in the tax net during the current financial year on the basis of financial transactions and data collected from Nadra.
The source said the FBR would issue notices as per the capacity of the task force.
“We have identified the rich people by mapping their profiles,” the source added.
The number of people who file income tax returns fell to less than 800,000 in the tax year 2012.
The source said that more notices would be issued in August and September.
Non-corporate tax-payers file returns until Sept 30.
The FBR had the data of rich people who were not on the tax roll or didn’t file tax returns, but it did not share it with its field staff to avoid its misuse, the source said.
According to the source, the FBR held a series of meetings on the issue of broadening the tax base after its new chairman took charge. Top officials are giving briefing to the chairman on functions and performance of the tax machinery.
The source claimed that the FBR would not announce officially the issuance of notices and constitution of the task force.
The source said the FBR had also upgraded its call centre to facilitate the taxpayers. Linkages with third-party sources, including provincial revenue authorities, have also been established for effective implementation and monitoring.
The FBR has made several decisions, including initiation of statutory proceedings against people who failed to respond to outreach notifications through issuance of notices under Section 114 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
In case of a taxpayer’s persistence on non-compliance, provisional assessment will be finalised. But the taxpayer will still have the option to file a return accompanied by a wealth statement and reconciliation of wealth statement within 60 days whereby the provisional assessment order will be automatically initiated.
If the taxpayer does not file the return and required documents within 60 days, the tax liability raised as per the provisional assessment order will become final and will be recoverable and, if necessary, penal and prosecution proceedings, which may culminate in imprisonment and imposition of fine, will also be initiated in selected cases for creating a credible deterrence.


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