FBR managed to enlist a modest 2.50 million tax returns for the year ended, 2019. But this seems a minuscule achievement compared to the 31.30 million bank accounts maintained by individuals in this country or the 100.00 million-plus holders of CNIC registered in the annals NADRA, which is the country’s premier data-bank.

Therefore, as an introductory measure, it is recommended the FBR should collect Rs 200 per annum from each and every family head based CNIC holder and Rs 100 from each and every dependent.

For instance, a poor person could simply provide a one-page form to the FBR, showing his name and address, dependents’ names & ages, and any asset or liability under his own name or his/her family name. Others, having greater incomes, assets and liabilities should file their statements with the FBR as per their routine practice.

It is imperative that the government ensures that no citizen or tax filer suffers any form of inconvenience or harassment at the hands of FBR.

Moreover, it would need a huge IT/software and hardware system to manage the 50 to 100 million returns expected to be generated per annum; most of these would be simplified returns but about three million-plus returns may carry more details or disclosure.

As a starter, does this present government have the vision to deliver power and autonomy to FBR?

I hope so because a synchronization of data-services achieved between FBR and NADRA could very well enable both institutions to inch closer towards the ‘fiscal vision’ of the government, which would be a remarkable accomplishment indeed.

ABBAS R. SIDDIQI,

Lahore.