FBR asks ECP to give details of 24,000 candidates

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ISLAMABAD: In a bid to broaden the narrow tax base, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to share details of assets of declarations of the newly elected parliamentarians as well as over 24,000 contesting candidates in the last general elections, The News has learnt.



“This step is aimed at bringing the wealthy people into the tax net who have so far been able to remain out of taxation system,” official sources said while talking to The News here on Wednesday.


The FBR is making efforts of broaden its tax base at a time of severe financial crunch as the tax collection machinery faced one of the biggest shortfalls of Rs437 billion in achieving its desired target in the last financial year. The FBR had collected Rs1,943 billion in last financial year against desired target of Rs2,381 billion.


The ECP, the sources said, has not so far shared details of assets of declarations with the FBR, making impossible for tax collection machinery to kick-start its campaign for broadening of tax base bringing in the influential segments of the society.


In the last elections, over 24,000 candidates contested. According to an official communication sent out by FBR to ECP, the tax machinery required details attached in annexure in shape of assets of declarations which can become major source for expanding the narrow tax base.


Under the IMF’s bailout package of $5.3 billion, Pakistan has committed to broaden its tax base by bringing 100,000 new taxpayers into the net. The FBR has decided to send tax notices to 10,000 and 15,000 potential tax dodgers in July and August respectively.


Official sources said that the ECP did not share complete details of assets of declaration with the FBR during the scrutiny process of candidates. “We have been asked to verify whether the candidates possessed National Tax Number (NTN) or not and how much was paid in taxes.


However, sources in ECP said that they were going to ask parliamentarians within the next two weeks to submit details of their income and assets till September 30, 2013. The details about parliamentarians will be published in the official gazette which will be available to everyone.


The sources recalled that it was decided in a meeting before general elections that the ECP would share details of assets of members of last Parliament but they did not know about official communication sent out by the FBR to the ECP after May 2 elections.


The FBR sources said that the ECP would publish details of assets of declarations of those who were elected parliamentarians after recent general elections but the tax machinery wanted details of all 24,000 contesting candidates in order to identify potential taxpayers exist in this list. When contacted, Secretary ECP Ishtiaq Khan Tuesday night said he was going abroad and advised this correspondent to contact additional secretary of the Commission to get the ECP version.

Courtesy:  The News

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