ISLAMABAD - In a bid to expedite the process of broadening extremely narrow tax base of the country, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has constituted a team for the coordination and monitoring of broadening of tax base activities which currently are moving at a snail’s pace.

The FBR’s drive, to bring 100,000 non-taxpayers into tax net during ongoing financial year 2013-2014, currently seems ineffective as it hasn’t yielded the desired results.

Therefore, the tax department has decided to constitute a team to expedite the process of bringing potential non-taxpayers into tax net.

“For coordination and monitoring of Broadening of Tax Base activities, Competent Authority is pleased to constitute a team of five members in addition to their own duties”, stated the FBR’s office order issued here.

The team included Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, SA to Chairman, FBR, Malik Amjad Zubair Tiwana, Chief (Income Tax Policy), FBR, Imran Latif Minhas, Secretary (Withholding Tax), FBR, Muhammad Khalid Jamil, Secretary (Exemptions/Rules), FBR and Ijlal Khan, Deputy Director (I&I), Lahore.

Under an IMF condition for $6.4 billion loan package, Pakistan has to send notices to 100,000 big tax evaders during current fiscal year 2013-2014.

According to sources, FBR has issued notices to over 30,000 potential taxpayers during first quarter (July-September) of this financial year.

However, sources have claimed that FBR’s drive of broadening of tax base so far seems ineffective.

Around one thousands out of over 30,000 have registered with the FBR in three months of the ongoing fiscal year.    

Government wants to increase the tax to GDP ratio, which is lowest in the region as it is around 8.5 percent. Similarly, the FBR is in chase for revenue collection target of Rs 2475 billion. FBR had already missed the revenue collection target by Rs 14 billion during first quarter (July-September) of the present fiscal year, as it collected Rs 481 billion against the target of Rs 495 billion.

It is worth mentioning here that previous government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had failed to broaden the tax base of the country despite its claim to have data of non-taxpayers. Similarly, the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) is struggling to broaden the narrow base of the country.