ISLAMABAD - Samina Fazil, founder president of Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI), on Sunday said withholding tax on bank transactions may not prove to be successful due to stiff opposition by the business community. FBR should not punish the existing taxpayers by burdening them but broaden the tax net to bring influential into it, she said.

In a statement issued here Sunday, Samina Fazil said that FBR needs to win confidence of taxpayers to overcome image problem which will help it tackle menace of low revenue collection. Majority of taxpayers see moves of FBR with suspicion which is an obstacle in national development, she said, adding that failed revenue targets contribute to underdevelopment and dependence on foreign donors.

Allegations of lack of integrity, wastage of funds, misrepresentation, inefficiency, indiscipline and arrogance has created a gulf between tax collectors and taxpayers that need to be bridged through serious efforts.

Samina Fazil said that industrialists feel that they pay too much of taxes while majority believe that the amount they give to the government as tax is not properly utilised. Taxpayers do not want to pay for the princely living of the people who earn billions but enjoy tax relaxations.

These are some of the reasons behind disappointing performance of FBR as far as achieving targets, widening of tax base, checking evasion, recovering arrears, or initiating meaningful reforms are concerned, she added.

Frequent claims of achieving or exceeding revenue collection targets which later proves false has added to the unpopularity of the institution. Shifting tax burden from the rich to the poor is cruelty which has made FBR a tool of oppression, she said. Situation will not improve unless FBR decides put its house in order.