Govt all set to start targeted survey to broaden tax base

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THE NATION, ISLAMABAD, 08th OCTOBER 2013:- Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa has said that the government is all set to initiate targeted tax survey to broaden the tax base of the country by brining non-taxpayers into net including doctors, lawyers, singers, artists and expensive private schools.
He said this while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, which met under the chair of its chairperson Senator Nasreen Jalil at parliament house. He informed that FBR is also working to collect information from various other sources including purchase of real estate‚ vehicles and international travels to broaden the tax base of the country. Tax-to-GDP ratio has been reduced to 8.5 per cent during last fiscal year 2012-2013 from 9.1 per cent of its preceding year 2011-2012, the committee was informed.
Tariq Bajwa said information through expensive private schools would be collected and only those schools in this regard will be targeted who are collecting at least sixteen thousand rupees in terms of monthly fees. There are several schools that are charging high fees but not paying taxes. Similarly, he said that government would bring lawyers, doctors, singers and artists into the tax net.
FBR has taken certain steps to enhance tax net and we have shortlisted details of those commercial power consumers who came in at two top slots and they will be given notice to pay tax, said Tariq Bajwa. He said through new mechanism‚ retailers have been restricted to charge extra from consumers.
Chairman FBR also informed that federal government is working to sign a memorandum of understanding with provincial governments to adjust the payment of taxes within ongoing month (October). The general sales tax (GST) on services sector is provincial domain after the 18th constitutional amendment. “FBR has faced Rs 5 billion loss during last financial year, as federal government paid Rs 9.5 billion of taxes to the provincial governments while it received 4.5 billion rupees from them”.
The committee was informed that government is considering reducing the duty on material used for production of bulletproof vehicles to facilitate the sector and FBR is working with ministries of Industries and Production and Commerce. Talking about the smuggling, Tariq Bajwa said that illegal trade from India is lesser as compared to the Western border i.e. Chaman side. Smuggling of goods from borders is major issue and due to poor law and order issue it is difficult to stop it from our western border, he added.
Rejecting imposition of any new tax, Chairman FBR said that there would be no inflationary wave in the country with new taxation measures. He said that government has even reduced the value added tax to two percent from earlier 2.5 percent.
Tariq Bajwa said that FBR has collected Rs 481 billion during first quarter (July-September) of the ongoing financial year 2013-2014 which is 17 percent higher than the collection of Rs 411 billion of same period of previous fiscal year 2012-2013.
Talking about the broadening of tax base, the chairman FBR informed that government has planned to bring 100,000 non-taxpayers into the tax net during the ongoing financial year 2013-2014, as committed with International Monetary Fund (IMF). The government has initiated the process of issuing notices and around 30,000 notices have been issued to the non-taxpayers so far in the country, Tariq Bajwa added. Similarly, the FBR is working with NADRA for the further inclusion of new taxpayers in the tax net
He said due to government’s car amnesty scheme‚ imports of cars have been recorded less as compared to previous fiscal year. Chairman Tariq Bajwa‚ however‚ said such schemes weaken the rule of law and that is why no further scheme is under consideration.

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