ISLAMABAD - Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has started an intensive effort to broaden the tax base through using the National Data Warehouse and has finalized a detailed implementation plan in this regard.

"FBR is working to broaden the tax net by bringing non-taxpayers into the net", said Riffat Shaheen Qazi, official spokesperson FBR, while talking to The Nation on Wednesday. She said government has estimated that 0.5 million non-taxpayers would be brought into tax net during next financial year 2013-2014. FBR would use National Data Warehouse (NDW) for identification of new taxpayers who can be brought into the tax net, Riffat Shaheen added.

It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan Muslim Nawaz (PML-N) government has aimed at increasing tax-to-GDP ratio to 15 per cent by 2018 from present alarming level of 9 percent by broadening of tax base.

The NDW would be used in various ways for this purpose including its usage for acquisition of data through profiling loading and data mining & usage. Once this is done, respective Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) would be sent the details and electronic profiles of these potential taxpayers so that BTB notifications are issued by the concerned tax commissioners. All the monitoring and control of the process would be automated and system based. FBR has also upgraded its call centre facility for the facilitation of the taxpayers. Linkages with 3rd party sources, including provincial revenue authorities have also been established for effective implementation and monitoring.

To strengthen the enforcement mechanism for the BTB plan, various decisions have been made by FBR, which include initiation of statutory proceedings against persons who fail to respond to outreach notifications through issuance of notices under section 114 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. In case of taxpayer's persistence on non-compliance, provisional assessment would be finalized and the taxpayer would still have the option to file a return accompanied by a wealth statement and reconciliation of wealth statement within the period of sixty days whereby the provisional assessment order will be automatically vitiated. If the taxpayer does not file the return and required documents within sixty days, the tax liability raised as per the provisional assessment order would become final and will be recoverable and, if necessary, penal and prosecution proceedings, which may culminate in imprisonment and imposition of fine, will also be initiated in selected cases for creating a credible deterrence.