ISLAMABAD  -   The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has launched countrywide exercise through which high rise commercial plazas, shopping malls, residential towers and chains of luxury apartments are being identified in order to broaden tax base of the country.

The FBR has continued its drive to broaden the tax base of the country, which is extremely low in the world. Sources informed The Nation that government is conducting investigation against non-taxpayers within and outside the country. “The FBR had issued notices to 3121 non-taxpayers within the country in four phases,” said an official. He further said that government had set the few parameters for identifying high net worth tax evaders.

The government, he said, had initiated action against all those tax evaders who have purchased properties of over Rs 20 million, or purchased 1800 CC or larger engine cars, or received rent to the tune of Rs 10 million or more in a year but not bothered to file their tax returns; therefore not in the list of taxpayers. In response to notices issued so far, I54 returns have been received with tax incidence of Rs21.1 million, he added.

The FBR had issued the notices to 3121 non-taxpayers in four different phases. During the first phase, the FBR had issued notices to 148 non-taxpayers and to 75 in the second phase. Meanwhile, the FBR had also issued 146 and 646 notices in third and fourth phases respectively. According to the documents, in phase I to III, proceedings are in advance stages and most of these cases will be finalized in next few days. Meanwhile, cases IV are off in the month of December. “Moreover, the FBR has also launched countrywide exercise through which high rise commercial plazas, shopping mall, residential towers and chains of luxury apartments are being identified. Thousands of registered cases have been identified and likewise massive concealment in the cases of existing taxpayers has been unearthed,” the documents stated.

Another official said, “FBR has also identified some 20,000 high net-worth non-filers”. The FBR recently informed the media that it had received the bank details of at least 50,000 Pakistanis who had purchased properties in different countries. The FBR had received the information from different countries under the convention of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The accounts data, which has been found, are in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and other countries. The data is related to the people belonging to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, top officials of the FBR informed the media on Wednesday. However, the officials informed that all the information of tax evaders will remain hidden and secret. They informed that in United Arab Emirates (UAE) 1365 properties belonging to 537 individuals have been found while 316 people having assets in Dubai has utilized amnesty scheme.