ISLAMABAD: Over 250 District Taxation Officers of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) are expected to directly communicate with the mobile phone companies, power distribution companies, and gas companies to disable mobile phone SIMs and discontinue electricity/gas connections of non-filers.
Sources told Business Recorder that the enforcement law was always present in the Income Tax Ordinance, but never enforced due to lack of will or political backing. The caretaker government is fully committed to broadening the tax base and this biggest enforcement has been taken across Pakistan on top priority basis.
According to sources, the FBR will issue a detailed procedure for implementation of the said enforcement measure across the country. To take immediate action against non-filers, the district taxation officers may directly write to the cellular companies, DISCOs and gas companies to disable mobile phone SIMs and discontinue electricity/gas connections of non-filers.
In this regard, the FBR is already coordinating with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), DISCOs, and gas companies.
Under the law, the board shall have the powers to issue income tax general order in respect of persons who are not appearing on active taxpayers’ list but are liable to file return under the provisions of the Ordinance.
The income tax general order issued may entail any or all of the following consequences for the persons mentioned: Disabling of mobile phones or mobile phone SIMS; discontinuance of electricity connection; or discontinuance of gas connection.
The Board or the Commissioner having jurisdiction over the person mentioned in the income tax general order may order restoration of mobile phones, mobile phone SIMS and connections of electricity and gas, in cases where he is satisfied that the return has been filed; or person was not liable to file return under the provisions of the ordinance.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023