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Friday Oct 23 2020
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FBR authorised to look at citizens' expenses to assess if they are dodging taxes

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting on Thursday in which SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood briefed him on proposals to broaden tax net. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday gave his go-ahead to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to utilise data on how citizens are spending their money to identify tax dodgers and bring them into the tax net.

According to The News, the green signal to the FBR was given as the PTI-led government has decided to launch a major campaign to expand the country’s narrow tax base.

Read more: Karachi top taxpaying city with collection of Rs572.59 bn

The FBR has already developed a database using information gathered from utility companies, air travelers, property buyers and other sources. This information will be used to profile those people who may be tax dodgers and issue them notices. 

Under the plan, the FBR, after identifying potential tax dodgers, will serve them notices through a centralised system aimed at bringing them into the tax net.

“There is no dearth of data available with us so all out efforts will be launched to broaden the taxpayers’ base to ensure that no existing taxpayers should be burdened more," Special Assistant to the PM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood told The News when contacted after attending a meeting chaired by PM Imran Khan on Thursday.

"There are 3.3 million NTN holders who do not file their tax returns. There is data of WHT taxpayers who are not coming into the tax net. The government has therefore decided to expand the narrow tax base to bring many more into the tax net,” he added.

Read more: FBR releases 2018 tax details of parliamentarians, chief ministers

To another query about the establishment of cooperation between the FBR and the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), he replied that there were legal issues involved in it, but “we will continue to work with NADRA and the Law Division. 

"In the meantime, we have plenty of data of our own to enable us to launch a major tax broadening exercise as the PM has given us the go-ahead."

Originally published in The News