FBR on right track

IN a large swoop to widen the tax net and ensure tax compliance across the country, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has started a massive drive for recovery of taxes from big and influential tax evaders. According to a statement issued by the Board on Tuesday, crackdown on the high-value targets has been launched on the instructions of Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Asad Umar as part of government’s efforts to widen the tax net and bring in it all those individuals who have purchased huge properties, luxury cars, receiving rent in millions but have not paid any tax or filed tax returns.
We have been pleading in these columns that tendency of burdening those who are already paying their taxes directly or indirectly is not wise approach and that efforts should be made to make wealthy and influential persons to pay due taxes. There are genuine complaints that industrialists, businessmen and professionals are either paying absolutely nothing or paying just fraction of their due taxes. Businesses with turn over of hundreds of thousands of rupee per day are non-filers while majority of doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers and technicians are also earning handsomely yet evading taxes. This is even known to a layman what to talk of tax authorities and there are also complaints that they are evading taxes in collusion with some unscrupulous elements.
Again, people doing real estate business are minting money and have become billionaires in short span of time but they are not willing to pay due taxes. There are also countless businessmen, industrialists and professionals who collect taxes on their products and services from their customers and consumers but do not bother to deposit these taxes in the treasury. This is crime of the highest order but lack of imposition of penalties is encouraging them to continue with such dastardly tactics. In this backdrop, drive against 169 big non-filers is symbolic but it would determine the level of seriousness and commitment of government about its claims to make everyone pay due taxes.

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