FBR Starts Investigating Plazas and Apartments to Find Tax Evaders

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has started conducting ground surveys in a bid to increase the tax base of Pakistan. The initiative by FBR comes in after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan issued directives of doing something effective to increase the tax base.

FBR has started mapping the plazas and high-rise residential buildings to identify the non-filers and non-tax payers of Pakistan. FBR will map all such buildings that have been built in the past 10 years. After the mapping target is achieved, FBR will start surveys in the housing societies as well.

The process of mapping is already underway as 450 plazas have been mapped so far. FBR collects information about buyers from the plaza’s owners and uses the information to send tax notices to defaulters.

The commissioner of Broadening of Tax Base has already issued notices to over 33,000 individuals after the first exercise.

FBR further collected the data of buildings from the property website as well.

According to this data, there are over 550 plazas in Islamabad and each of them is valued around Rs 500 million. Furthermore, there are 70 malls in the federal capital with a net worth between Rs 1 billion and Rs 2 billion each.

97 people bought apartments in Islamabad Heights alone. 40 of these are not registered as tax filers. FBR says that the board will send tax return filing notices to these 40 people as well.

According to the law, anyone who earns more than Rs 400,000 annually must file income tax returns. Statistics say that 60% of corporate employees do not file the returns despite paying the taxes.

Overall, the number of filers decreased for the year 2017 from fiscal year 2016. In 2016, 1.4 million people filed tax returns while that number reduced to 1.22 million in tax year 2017.