Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday directed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to intensify enforcement actions against tax defaulters/ evaders and bring high net worth individuals into the tax net by using data matching and third party information through IT systems and integration of data among different departments/organisations.
The Prime Minister has given these instructions to the top tax managers while chairing a meeting regarding FBR's strategy and enforcement plan to increase revenue collection here on Tuesday. The Prime Minister further directed the FBR to expedite efforts for making Benami Transactions Prohibition Act operational, which would empower tax officials to confiscate properties held in other than owners' names.
On January 30, the Prime Minister took a number of decisions to curb corruption in the FBR, discourage under-invoicing of imports from China and trace with the help of intelligence agencies people who had been named in the Panama Leaks. Imran Khan also gave 2-3 weeks time to FBR Chairman Jehanzeb Khan in this regard.
It was also decided that the FBR would separate tax audit functions from the assessments, aimed at focusing more on those people who remain outside the net and enjoy lavish lifestyles.
The Prime Minister further directed the FBR to adopt new and reformed system for the tax collection and create ease for expansion of tax net in the country. The FBR should use modern means for tax collection to bring non-tax payers to the tax net and facilitate existing tax payers. Tax evaders are foes of the nation and the country and they do not deserve any concession.
The Prime Minister said focus should be made on tax evaders and non-filers instead of harassing regular tax payers. He said tax evaders and non-tax payers should be exposed before the people. He said indiscriminate action should be ensured against tax evaders and FBR officials, who facilitate theft of tax.
The FBR informed that 6,000 notices were issued to high net worth individuals in the past two months. Of these, she said tax demand of Rs 6 billion was created in 204 cases. The recovery so far made after assessment of these notices was Rs 2.6 billion. It was told that 66 cases of information and investigations are also being examined and over Rs 1.5 billion have also been collected in this matter.
The Federal Board of Revenue apprised that mapping of 2,000 plazas have been completed, while automatic system to collect tax has been installed at over 2,500 points of sale. It was said that a collection of Rs 24.818 billion is expected under new measures taken by the FBR and Rs 11.882 billion have already been collected.
The FBR shared strategy with the PM to meet the assigned revenue collection target in the remaining period of 2018-19. The FBR's provisional revenue collection stood at Rs 2,060 billion during July-January (2018-19) period against the assigned target of Rs 2,251 billion for the first seven months of the current fiscal year, reflecting a shortfall of Rs 191 billion.
The FBR has now requested the government to revise downward its revenue collection target but so far the annual target is at Rs 4,398 billion for the current fiscal year.