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Tax Notices Issued To Over 130,000 High Net Worth Individuals

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued around 134,848 notices to high net worth individuals across the country as part of its efforts to persuade them to electronically file their income tax returns for 2019.

According to details, the notices were issued to unregistered individuals by the respective dedicated zones of the Broadening of Tax Base (BTB) created at Regional Tax Office (RTO) Islamabad, RTO Faisalabad, RTO Rawalpindi, RTO-II and RTO-III Karachi, along with RTO-II Lahore.

In addition, the FBR has also expanded the BTBs in the remaining 13 RTOs for the purpose of issuing notices to those individuals who are not registered as tax filers.

According to data, around 783,039 new taxpayers filed their tax returns after the incumbent government introduced various schemes, including a tax amnesty, to attract more people into the tax net. Due to these efforts, the government has been successful in broadening the tax base during its first year in office.

It merits mention here that the BTB has issued the highest number of notices to unregistered persons in Lahore, which amounted to 37,083 notices. The FBR has yet to share any data on the compliance resulting from the issuance of these notices.

Meanwhile, the RTO Rawalpindi has issued the second highest number of notices during the same period. The BTB office in the city has issued 21,248 notices to different individuals so far. On the other hand, the BTB office in RTO Islamabad only succeeded in issuing a total of 4,600 notices to unregistered individuals, which was well below par.

Further, the BTB office in Peshawar has so far issued 15,800 notices to unregistered persons in an effort to bring them into the tax net. After Lahore, Sargodha became the second city where around 15,560 notices were issued to individuals.

In Karachi, the RTO has served notices to 10,467 unregistered individuals, while the RTO Abbottabad has issued 8,160 notices to unregistered persons. This is a high number when compared to the size of this RTO and its jurisdiction.

According to a senior tax official, the FBR is compiling data to assess compliance of these notices with the respective RTOs.

“The respective RTOs are working to identify as to how many individuals would get registered as tax filers after receiving the notices,” he said.

Moreover, the data showed that RTO Hyderabad issued 5,198 notices to unregistered persons, followed by 5,795 notices issued in Sukkur city. In an effort to broaden the tax base, the BTO offices also issued 1,422 notices in Bahawalpur, around 363 notices in Faisalabad, at least 476 notices in Gujranwala, around 2,327 notices in Multan, around 2,820 notices in Quetta, at least 1,777 notices in Sialkot and at least 1,752 notices in Sahiwal, respectively.

The total tax return filers in the last year reached 2.561 million, thus showing an improvement from the previous year’s figure of 1.514 million. This shows an increase of 69.1 per cent.

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