Source: FinPK

In an effort to increase tax revenues and ensure everyone contributes their fair share, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has proposed a bold move targeting those who haven’t been filing their taxes.

A Bold Step Toward Tax Compliance

Under this new plan, the FBR wants to raise the withholding tax significantly, jumping from a small 2.5 per cent to a whopping 90 per cent for those who haven’t been following the rules.

Income tax returns: Non-filers to face SIM blockage, utility disconnection
Source: MM

Let’s say someone who hasn’t been filing their taxes decides to top up their mobile phone with Rs100. Instead of the usual Rs2.5 deduction, a whopping Rs90 will be taken and given to the tax authority. The FBR recently put out lists identifying over 500,000 people who haven’t been filing their taxes. They’ve asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and telecom companies to block their SIM cards. So far, they’ve already blocked around 11,500 SIM cards, and more blocks are expected soon.

Blocking SIM Cards

Telecom companies have been given until May 15 to block SIM cards of all the non-filers identified. This move comes after the FBR found millions of potential taxpayers who haven’t been meeting their tax obligations. Out of these, over half a million people were picked out for SIM card blocking based on factors like past income declarations and not filing taxes for 2023.

Non-filers to pay 90% tax on mobile balance
Source: MM

Targeting Potential Taxpayers

The Express Tribune previously reported that if the SIMs of non-filers aren’t blocked by May 15, the FBR might take legal action against the telecom companies. Sources say the FBR plans to discuss this matter further and may even take the telecom companies to court if they don’t comply with the Income Tax General Order (ITGO).

Initially, the telecom companies pushed back against the idea, arguing they were supposed to provide uninterrupted service to their customers unless specified otherwise in the law. However, They’ve changed their tune after talks with the FBR. So, with this new proposal, the FBR aims to ensure everyone chips in for the nation’s development, making sure tax obligations aren’t ignored.

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Usman Kashmirwala
Your thoughts are your biggest asset in this world and as a content writer, you get a chance to pen down these thoughts and make them eternal. I am Usman Kashmirwala, apart from being a movie maniac, car geek and a secret singer, I am a guy lucky enough to be working in a profession that allows me to showcase my opinions and vision to the world every day and do my little part in making it a better place for all of us.