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Failing to register under FBR's new tax scheme

16 November, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Thursday that the name of potential taxpayers will be placed on Exit Control List (ECL) and face cancellation of Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) if they fail to register themselves under the Federal Board of Revenue's (FBR) new tax scheme.

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ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Thursday that the name of potential taxpayers will be placed on Exit Control List (ECL) and face cancellation of Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) if they fail to register themselves under the Federal Board of Revenue's (FBR) new tax scheme.

FBR Member Asrar Rauf told the PAC that the FBR would present the new tax policy for approval in the parliament soon. “The potential taxpayers will face major penalties like placement of their names on the ECL and others,” he said. The meeting was presided over PAC Chairman Nadeem Afzal Chand and attended by Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Riaz Fatyana, Sardar Hayat Sadiq, Khurram Dastgir, Abid Sher Ali, Noor Alam Khan, Hamid Yar Hiraj, Ali Musa Gilani, senior officials of FBR, Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), National Bank of Pakistan, Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

The FBR member said it was not tax amnesty scheme but it is a Tax Registration and Enforcement Initiative scheme under which potential taxpayers will be asked to comply with tax laws, get national tax numbers and start paying taxes by filing returns. The taxpayers will deposit about Rs 40,000. In the scheme, 3.1 million people will be targeted who have been identified with the help of database of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

He said that the FBR expected the schemes to generate revenues of Rs 1,020 billion. Last year FBR has recovered Rs 1,883 billion and added that such types of tax schemes are being practiced in America Spain and Israel.

“I am not convinced the new scheme will play any role to bring potential taxpayers under the tax net but it will help in whitening the money earned through drug smuggling, ransom and other illegal means,” said Sardar Hayat Sadiq.

He said that if FBR had identified 3.1 million taxpayers then why were they not issuing notices to them. On this Rauf said that FBR would issue notice to them if they fail to register within three months in the new scheme.

The PAC chairman directed the FBR to produce the list to media houses, information technology companies and government departments of the people who are not paying tax for the last 10 years to the committee within one week. The PAC meeting asked the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) officials that why had they gone to the court against the NBP's audit. Auditor General said that Auditor General of Pakistan could not start audit of NBP as the matter was subjudice.

Khawaja Asif said that if audit of NBP was conducted then the bank would collapse ... NBP moved the court against the Ministry of Finance as they are hiding their corruption. The committee took stern notice of absence of NBP president in the committee's meeting. The NBP officials told that he was engaged in pleading some case before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Chand said that no department is above the law and has to be audited. It could audit any department where the government had invested in any manner, he said. He directed NBP president to hold a meeting with Ministry of Finance secretary in this regard.

He also ordered to call finance secretary, NBP president and officials of Law Ministry in the next meeting. The meeting also directed officials of SECP and PMDC to give access to AGP to conduct audit of these departments. The PAC constituted a committee comprising officials of Ministry of Finance and Law Ministry to look into the matter of refusal by different entities for their audit by AGP. The PAC decided that the committee would summon these entities within a week to hear their stance and present its report thereof to PAC.

Chand said PAC would file reference in the National Assembly against those departments, which do not allow audit. The committee also issued directives to issue notices to other organizations, which refused to allow AGP to audit their accounts.

Audit officials informed the committee that FBR was not cooperating, to which PAC chairman directed the FBR officials to complete their work regarding audit objection and provide record to the AGP within nine days and file a report in this regard. “If the FBR failed to provide record within nine days he would take up the matter with the prime minister and will ask the AGP to stop salaries of FBR officials,” he said.

End.


 
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