PM Imran Khan allows FBR to utilise expenditures data to widen tax net

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday gave the go-ahead to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to utilise the expenditures data for identifying millions of tax dodgers and bringing 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, as over 3.3 million National Tax Number (NTN) holders and others in the shape of withholding taxes (WHT) do not bother to file their tax returns.

Under the plan, the FBR after identifying potential dodgers will serve them notices through a centralized system to bring them into the tax net.

On the expenditure side, the FBR developed its database through the utility companies, air travellers, property buyers and others that could be utilized to expand the tax base.

“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. So the government has decided to expand the narrow tax base to bring many more into tax net,” he added.

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 would continue to work with the NADRA and Law Division, but in the meantime we have plenty of data of our own to enable us to launch a major tax broadening exercise as the PM gave us the go-ahead”.

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