Apropos reports published in your paper about budget 2015-2016. An impartial analysis of FBR viz a viz recovery of direct taxation and administrative expenses cum perks, of its, top heavy bureaucracy, their housing societies etc, would qualify it another white elephant, a burden on taxpayers, instead of an organisation that is collecting direct taxes from anyone.

When citizens, living in expensive villas spread over acres, driving expensive cars costing millions, owning luxury yachts and private jets, pay nominal taxes, it can only happen with connivance of corrupt FBR officials. Big retail stores, earning hundreds of thousands of rupees daily, end up paying peanuts as income tax, while state paid machinery, tasked to collect taxes looks the other way and takes home millions in graft.

Nowhere in world does Internal Revenue Collection agency negotiate with taxpayers on quantum or mode of tax recovery. Tax evasion occurring in presence of foolproof technological monitoring system is proof, if any is needed, of FBR being party to this crime. Tax collection was never meant to be voluntary, citizens all over world pay taxes, because of strict punishment, long prison term, heavy fines, confiscation of assets of defaulters.

Tax evasion is considered a conspiracy against any sovereign state, because without these funds, neither state’s sovereignty, nor national security can be guaranteed. Role of FBR or any Internal Revenue System in the world is to monitor all sources of income, physical assets both moveable and immoveable owned by any citizen or resident within Pakistan and abroad, their bank accounts and money transfers from within and outside country and enforce strict exemplary punishment on those who are involved in tax evasion.

The only legitimate revenues generated by FBR are through direct taxation. Imposing double taxation, other than GST, on citizens who have paid all their direct taxes, such as Withholding Tax on utilities, bank transfers, and buying limousines, houses etc amounts to ‘Double Jeopardy’ and encouraging those who evade taxes or promoting black economy. A legitimate responsible constitutional state resorts to indirect taxation, only after it has exhausted all sources of direct taxation. FBR has no role in collection of indirect taxes and therefore cannot claim it as revenue generated by it.

TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, June 4.