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Print Print 2023-05-14

ATL: number of return filers hits 3.58m mark

  • Experts say FBR can achieve the target of 4.3 million taxpayers on the ATL by broadening the tax base process by data mining of Withholding Taxes
Published May 14, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The latest number of income tax return filers as per the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) list now stands at 3.58 million.

Tax expert Asif S Kasbati, PBC Core Tax Committee & ICAP Fiscal Laws Committee Member informed that the Income Tax ATL status for the Tax Year 2022 stood at 3.58 million as on April 30, 2023 as per the FBR, however, it is expected the figure would reach minimum 4.4 million in the next few months.

When discussing the matters with Asif S Kasbati, he highlighted that the ATL for Tax Year (TY) 2018 reached 1.8 million, while increased to 2.4 million for TY 2019. For TY 2020, it was 2.9 million on September 20, 2022.

Kasbati added that the ATL for the Tax Year 2021, released on December 12, 2022 had 3.83 million taxpayers and considering the historical monthly progress, he estimated the figure at 4million by February 28, 2023.

‘Taxpayers’ Satisfaction Survey (2023)’ 53pc of businesspeople file tax returns without any help

Keeping in view past trends, he had projected over 4 million returns on June 12, 2020, however, for TY 2021 on February 28, 2023 ATL was estimated to reach at 4million.

The senior tax consultant recalled that FBR had committed to register 300,000 new taxpayers, which has been declared as an unrealistic figure by certain professionals.

However, as per Kasbati analysis, for tax year 2022 there should be 4.3 million taxpayers on the ATL as compared to 4 million in 2021.

Kasbati predicted that ATL for TY 2022 is likely to reach 4 million by August 31, 2023 considering the average progressive ratio of 3% per month.

However, FBR can achieve the target of 4.3 million taxpayers on the ATL through broadening the tax base process by data mining of Withholding Taxes, coordination with NADRA, Provincial Revenue Authorities for Properties & Motor Vehicles, bringing maximum Non-Tier 1 traders into tax net, etc.

He stated that the former FBR adviser Dr Waqar Masood estimated in December 2020 that there are 7.4 million potential non-filers. The figure was not achieved by any of the political regimes.

Former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin also stated that there are 15 million potential taxpayers. The same target could not be achieved as well, Kasbati added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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Jani Walker May 14, 2023 03:38pm
Tax filers increase but have the tax payers among them increased? Has the amount of tax collected gone up proportionally? No.
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Tulukan Mairandi May 14, 2023 04:24pm
3.58 million taxpayers in a nation of over 200 million? Wow
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