ISLAMABAD - Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has registered 55 percent increase in the number of income tax returns filed until 10th of October this year as compared to the corresponding period last year.

The FBR has received 482,275 income tax returns for the tax year 2018, which are 170,208 more than the 312,067 income tax returns received for tax year 2017 by the same date, registering an impressive increase of 55 percent. “The increase in the filing of income tax returns envisages the confidence of taxpayers upon the policies of the government, FBR, as well as the stability of e-filing system,” the FBR stated in its official handout. FBR, as a part of its ongoing strategy, is committed to providing seamless availability round the clock by using modern techniques to bring about efficiency and effectiveness in tax collection.

The government has recently extended deadline for filing income tax returns for two months till 30th November, 2018. This was second extension in deadline of filing income tax returns as earlier FBR had extended the deadline till September 30. The decision was taken to enhance the number of tax filers, which remained slow during initial months of the tax year.

Finance Minister Asad Umar had informed the National Assembly that government is giving a chance to non-taxpayers to file their returns by November 2018. Otherwise, the government had already initiated actions against the non-tax filers. FBR had started a massive drive for the recovery of taxes from big and influential tax evaders. The FBR had identified 169 wealthy non-filers in the country, which are set to face ‘hot pursuit’. In the first phase, strict action is being taken against 169 tax evaders and non-filers with proven trail of large business transactions and financial deals made by them in recent times. All such tax evaders have been identified by the FBR and are being proceeded against for recovery of payable tax besides being subjected to heavy fines and penalties for failing to fulfill their tax obligations.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the office-bearers and members of the Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) met Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar here at FBR House to ensure him full support in FBR’s efforts for enhancing revenue collection.

The delegation told the minister the members of the Pakistan Tax Bar Association were willing to work with the FBR in any possible way for enhancing the tax revenues and promoting a tax compliance culture in the country.

The minister appreciated their gesture and told them the government was fully committed to broadening the tax base and introducing equitable taxation whereby all those who had taxable income or businesses, would come up and contribute their due share of taxes towards the revenue generation and resource mobilization efforts of the government. “Raising the tax revenues is the key to implementing the socio-economic agenda the PTI government has planned to take Pakistan forward as a prosperous and strong country in the comity of nations,” he said.