ISLAMABAD -  The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been able to increase the number of filers of Income Tax returns to 1.1 million while measures are being taken to raise the cost of doing business for non-filers so that they are compelled to become part of the tax system.

Member Inland Revenue Policy Rehmatullah Wazir stated this while briefing participants of 105th National Management Course, who visited FBR along with rector and faculty of National School of Public Policy (NSPP) conducting the course. Member Customs FBR, Nasir Masroor Ahmed also spoke on the occasion and gave the visiting officers an overview of the roles and responsibilities of Pakistan Customs Service in enhanced revenue mobilization, trade facilitation and effective border management.

Earlier, the participants and the faculty led by NSPP Rector Muhammad Ismail Qureshi were welcomed by Member Administration FBR Majid Qureshi who in his welcome address briefly explained the role and responsibilities of FBR and thanked the NSPP for choosing FBR as a key government organization for inculcating strategic thinking among the course participants engaged in public policy formulation and decision-making at higher levels.

In his presentation on the Inland Revenue Service, Member IR Policy Rehmatullah Wazir said FBR had adopted a broad range of measures and taken steps in recent months to broaden the tax base and increase the tax net. “We believe that there is a tax potential equal to Rs5500-6000 billion and our efforts are directed to explore all possible possibilities for realizing this potential and generating much-needed resources for socio-economic spending,” he said.

He said FBR had also taken a host of measures to create distinction between filers and non-filers by raising the cost of doing business for non-filers. Similarly, new perspectives such as creation and maintenance of central data bank, simplification of tax procedures, increased reliance on direct taxes within the tax-mix, minimum tax exemptions and withholding tax, robust audit and more transparency were also being explored to promote a culture of tax compliance.

Member Customs FBR, Nasir Masroor Ahmed said the Customs was contributing significantly to overall tax revenue. He said Pakistan Customs was taking policy measures to deal with challenges in the wake of IPRs enforcement, exponential rise in international trade, more sophisticated and demanding clients, heightened security concerns, proliferation of regional trade agreements and compliance to international conventions and these challenges were being met through end-to-end electronic solutions, efficient and effective implementation of trade agreements, withdrawal of exemptions and curbing border smuggling.