ISLAMABAD - The government Thursday finally decided to carry out audit of big business firms, which are earning billions of rupees and contributing nothing to the national exchequer, a factor pressing the tax authorities to squeeze the poor to pay more taxes. The chief spokesman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the national tax collecting body, said the Board in its recent meeting had decided that the corporate sector's audit would be carried out. "Some big companies are doing business and in spite of being well in the business arena, showing losses," said the official. The FBR Member Fiscal Research and Statistics said that during the just ended financial year, over 14,000 corporate firms submitted their income tax return forms. One of every third big company showed losses, other one-thirds showed nil accounts while only 34 per cent of the total big firms depicted profit and paid taxes, he added. The tax authorities are relying on indirect taxes to achieve its annual revenue targets. During the last financial year, ended on June 30,2007, the FBR collected Rs 1,004 billion and more than 60 per cent of this collection was collected by levying taxes on consumers indirectly. General Sales Tax (GST) is a big tool in the hands of the FBR. This is consumption-based tax, which every individual has to pay on buying of all products, except certain food items. Last year, the authorities charged 15 per cent GST but from July 1, 2008, the authorities have increased the rate of GST to 16 per cent due to effectiveness of the tool. The official said the FBR Chairman Abdullah Yousuf had asked the Members of Direct Tax, General Sales Tax and Customs Duty to coordinate with the Member Statistics to analyse the data of various sectors and then conduct, wherever necessary, an audit to determine the reasons of losses of big companies. "Oil and gas and banking sectors data will be particularly judged," said the official, adding that the FBR Chairman had also asked not to conduct audit of non-corporate sector, which was paying taxes according to its capacity. The official said the FBR Chairman had also directed the Income Tax Commissioners to stop using Section 177, a law gives special powers to conduct raid and take control of business records. This law was normally used against small-scale businessmen. "We don't want reckless use of section 177," said the official by quoting the Chairman. "We will start audit from big revenue spinners and then gradually come to smaller sectors, and the banking sector is not an exemption," said the official. The official said during last 12 months, the FBR missed revenue collection targets in sales tax and federal excise duty due to loadshedding. The FBR suffered a loss of Rs 6 billion on federal excise duty and another Rs 7 billion loss on account of sales tax, he added. The spokesman said the Board had geared up its efforts to meet this year's revenue target of Rs 1,250 billion, as the economic situation will be difficult, which may adversely effect revenue collection. The Board has recently launched an Amnesty Scheme to whiten the black money and register undocumented economy. The official said the FBR was expecting to generate minimum Rs 2 billion through the scheme and it would fetch about Rs 200 billion in the market. He appealed to the people to utilise the scheme to declare their unreported assets by paying just 2 per cent tax of the fair market value of the assets. The FBR has borrowed $ 149 million from the World Bank to reform the tax administration. The official said the FBR had decided to return 30 per cent of this amount, which turned out to be unspent.