LAHORE - Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) Chairman Dr Rahil Siddique has said that all four provincial tax bodies are on board to tax the powerful oil tanker mafia and chalking out the way out to bring them into tax net.

 “They blackmail the federal government through strikes which halt the country at standstill. But these strikes threats will not work in future as the unanimous solution is almost sought out to collect tax from them. If the federal government protects them than it will have to pay the revenue losses occur by the provinces on this account,” he said in a briefing to Lahore Economic Journalist Association here at PRA office on Thursday.

Dr Rahil was of the view that now strikes will not work and in modern era everyone has to pay taxes for which they can sit and talk with the tax authorities to resolve the issues and concerns. He said that PRA has been creating tax awareness among the masses besides expanding the tax net. For tax education, with the efforts of the PRA and Punjab government support, first time ever tax chapter is added in the 8th grade textbook. This will bring fruit in the long run when the students of school become active part of society will aware of their duties for paying taxes for the development of the country, he added.

Furthermore, the PRA has also started tax clinics. In tax clinics different sector people are invited and trained them how to file the tax return. Additionally, infusion of technology and development of IT infrastructure in the respective sectors was also educated. These steps help the tax filers to pay taxes easily.

The PRA chairman believed that majority of people want to pay taxes but they were unable to file taxes. They were also illiterate on tax which resulted unwillful tax avoidance. On a question of court petition on legality of provincial revenue authorities, Dr Rahil said habitual tax evaders are behind this malicious campaign. However, they will be defeated while the PRA already accumulating their tax incidences. So once the court will decide than these evaders have to pay all taxes, he added.

Talking about Restaurant Invoice Management System (RIMS), he said that it was successfully operational in Lahore and Faisalabad.

Now it will be implemented in Rawalpindi from December 2017 while Gujranwala and Sialkot will be the next cities after Rawalpindi. On slow expansion of RIMS system, he said Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has failed to implement this system in Islamabad for the last many years. “The FBR has sought PRA support for the implementation of RIMS in Islamabad,” he said.