ISLAMABAD - Federal Board of Revenue has unleashed its intelligence staff against nearly one million buyers of automobiles who are either evading tax or simply not filing annual tax returns, Chairman FBR Suhail Ahmed told TheNation on Tuesday. Talking to TheNation/Nawai-I-Waqt in an exclusive interview, the Chairman said National Tax Number (NTN) is now compulsory to buy a car. We have already obtained data of such people that were buying even luxurious cars but not filing their income tax returns, he added. We have forwarded data of well over 700,000 buyers obtained from the car sellers to the intelligence staff to check the accuracy of those filing returns and move against the non-filers, Ahmed said. To a different question, the Chairman revealed that the FBR had already proposed additional tax measures for Rs 25 billion collection while carefully protecting the low-income classes. He rushed to add that the Government had decided to avoid additional tax measures as long as it was possible. Apart from external assistance and saving on current expenditures, the Government would also have cushion from the leftover of the development budget. Not necessarily the Government would have to cut the development budget and over 30 percent of development allocations would simply not be required due to lack of spending capacity of both the federal and the provincial governments, he observed. Updating the revenue collection so far, the FBR Chairman admitted that they had missed the half-yearly target by Rs 10 billion to Rs 15 billion. By mid-January, he said, the FBR has collected Rs 634 billion against the target of Rs 645 billion to Rs 650 billion. The Chairman was, however, confident to make up this shortfall in the rest of the half-year up to June 30, 2010. Sharing the new tax measures, he said, the FBR for instance has proposed to increase the withholding tax rate on the electricity sale to the commercial and the industrial consumers by offering them an option to get it adjusted in their annual return. This would not only generate additional revenue without burdening even the commercial and industrial consumers but would also encourage income tax return filing by the businesses evading taxes despite having sizeable annual turnover. For the low-income people, he said, the FBR has rather proposed to waive off Rs 60 tax on minimum monthly bill of electricity. On the creation of the Inland Revenue Service, he said, as many as 56 officers of the Customs group have opted to join the IRS in addition to 960 Sales Tax Auditors as well as 95 percent of the Income Tax officers availed the option. To a question on Value Added Tax (VAT), he said, the FBR has already forwarded the draft law to the Parliament that was most likely to table within the ongoing session. Since we cant force the Parliament, we would continue with the general sales tax with a cleaning drive, in case the law makers do not enact the VAT law, he maintained.