Enhance Tax Collection

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Regardless of claims of reforms in FBR, tax collection has always remained a major challenge in our country.

It is really unfortunate that nobody is willing to pay taxes under different pretexts and the result is that our governments have to knock at the doors of others to run the affairs of the country.

Because of this Pakistan today is in deep debt trap. According to the latest data, the FBR missed its collection target for December by almost 24 per cent, or Rs225 billion, owing to a sharp drop in imports as well as delay in collection of super tax from maximum taxpayers.

This revenue shortfall will now make it hard for the government to convince the IMF to revive the stalled IMF program without taking additional and substantial taxation measures.

A mini budget also cannot be ruled out. The government is contemplating options for imposition of flood levy in the range of one to three percent to fetch Rs 60 billion.

We believe never ever a concerted and serious effort has been made to bring the potential tax payers in the tax net.

It is also unfortunate that whenever the governments try to bring potential sectors into the tax net, they resort to stiff resistance and the government ultimately has to take a step back.

We saw that when super tax was imposed on the corporate sector and the fixed tax on the retailers.

This situation warrants an honest appraisal and practical reforms within the FBR whilst taking use of the latest technology.

Whilst those already paying taxes honestly must not be further burdened but this culture of tax exemptions must come to an end if we really want to stand on our own feet.

Either these are retailers, agriculturalists or any other sector, all of them will have to pay taxes according to their income.

Whilst simplifying the procedures, the government must also launch a massive awareness campaign, sensitizing the people about their responsibility vis-a-vis tax payment.

It is also for the government to cut its expenditures and adopt austerity measures to give the message that the tax payers money is only meant for the welfare and development of the country.