ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Finance has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to further enhance taxes on the non-filers to discourage the culture of not filing tax returns in the country.

The meeting of the committee was held here under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwala to discuss Finance Bill 2017-18, clause by clause. Proceeding on the bill, the committee also directed to take additional measures to expand tax net across the country. FBR Chairman Dr Muhammad Irshaad informed the committee that the board was planning to establish a directorate within FBR to broaden tax net.

Responding to a senator's query regarding identification of 3.8 million people who could be brought under tax net, the FBR chairman informed that in fact it was a myth and no such data has been provided by National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to FBR.  He said the board was itself conducting survey to identify the well off individuals and companies to bring them under the tax net.  Furthermore, the FBR chairman informed that the people who identify such non-filers would also be rewarded.

Meanwhile regarding Benami transaction, Senator Azam Swati said the FBR should launch an awareness campaign regarding consequences of Benami transaction and apprehend such persons to discourage the Benami transaction. Moreover, the committee was informed that during last year, total tax collection from real estate sector stood at Rs15 billion.

The meeting was attended by Senators Talha Mehmood, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Mohsin Aziz, Saud Majeed and Osman Saifullah Khan.