How to File Your Income Tax Returns Online [Step by Step Guide]

Pakistan has one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world. For the uninitiated, tax-to-GDP ratios are used to assess a country’s development year after year. They say the higher the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, the higher the amount of tax revenues a government can earn for the same since the value of goods and services it exports have increased.

With those boring numbers and information out of the way, here’s why people who are employed/salaried should care about filing their income tax returns now more than ever. You must have heard about the bank transactions being taxed more for non-filers.

As it turns out, even real-time interbank transfers are charged a new withholding tax (WHT) under section 236P of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 for non-filers. All banking transactions will be taxed at 0.3 percent WHT unless they file their income tax returns by Nov 30th 2016. You also get charged more when  buying cars or other property. And if your WHT amount is greater than your applicable taxes, filing is the only method which can help you get a refund, generally in thousands or rupees for the average person.

Moreover, if you file tax returns then chances are you could get better than usual services at airports, excise offices and various other benefits that are not available to non-filers.

And this is where this simplified guide comes in. It will explain how to file tax returns online hassle-free. No longer will you need to hire the services of a lawyer or tax consultant to do it for you.

And since the process of registration is all online, you really don’t have the ‘aint nobody got time for that’ excuse to play (unless you don’t happen to have a CNIC yet, in which case you need to visit the NADRA office near you).

Things You Need to Know Beforehand

If you’re earning 400,000/- PKR or above in a year, then yes, the income tax applies to you. Filing tax returns online can make this a lot convenient. The government determines how much the tax rate applies to your earnings year by year, with the annual Budget determining these rates in June of every year.

Before filing tax returns online via FBR’s portal, you will need to calculate your tax rates for the year 2015 accordingly based under which income slab you fall in.

For Individuals, Get Registered Online with FBR’s E-Enrollment System

As of November last year, FBR issued an SRO that stated that a filer can use their CNIC number as NTN without the need to go through additional hassles related to registering the NTN (National Tax Number). This development has taken the sting out of registering as a tax payer in Pakistan. Here’s how you can register as one:

  1. You’ll have to get your Registration Number and password first via FBR’s e-Enrollment process. To do that, click here to get to the main page of Iris, FBR’s simplified ERP system for tax payer registration.iris.fbr.gov.pk-screen-1
  2. You’ll need to go to ‘Registration for Unregistered Person’ if you’re a first time user. Provide the information required.You’ll be sent a confirmation input to validate your account (usually an email and/or SMS). You’ll be sent password/PIN to login with your account. Sometimes this process might take a few days for security reasons.iris.fbr.gov.pk-screen-2
  3. Once you’re registered successfully and have logged in by entering your Registration No. and password on the main page of Iris, you can now file your wealth statement.
  4. For salaried persons, you will have to fill wealth statement and income tax returns. The procedure for filling out your details for wealth statement income tax returns are present here.
  5. More detailed help can be found here, concerning FAQs, Registration, Income Tax Returns and more.

Video Tutorial for Preparing Your Wealth Statement

Video Tutorial for Preparing Your Income Tax Statement

Things to note:

The UserID for Iris is your Registration Number as follows:

  • In case of individual Pakistani – the 13-digits on CNIC/NICOP (without dashes)
  • In case of individual Non-Pakistani – the 7-digits NTN (excluding dash and check digit)
  • In case of AOPs/Companies – the 7-digits NTN (excluding dash and check digit).

For Companies and AOPs, NTN Registration is Required

If you are a company/AOP, you can register for NTN (National Tax Number) online. (It’s preferable to use Internet Explorer to do this; there will be problems with Chrome and Mozilla Fox)

  1. Visit the link e.fbr.gov.pk and select the tab E-registration.
  2. Mention your CNIC Number, name and load image
  3. Give your date of birth as per CNIC, your residential address, your activity, land line, mobile number and email address
  4. Since you are filling in the form yourself select the ‘Authorized Representative u/s 172 and then select ‘Self’
  5. Click on ‘Save Registry’
  6. Then in the next column, mention your employers NTN and city of your employment if you are an employee. If a businessman, fill in the details of your business as well.
  7. Your application is complete. Click on ‘Print’ to get a print of the application and sign it.
  8. It will alert you if there is an existing NTN from your previous job. If you still have doubts, use your CNIC number to get it.
  9. You will be allotted an NTN after 2 working days via an email.
  10. Meanwhile, enclose a paid electricity bill, salary certificate and copy of CNIC with the printed application and take it to your concerned RTO office. You will be issued the NTN certificate.

The Last Word

Hopefully, this guide helps you in filing tax returns online with minimal confusion. As we discussed earlier, the whole idea behind filing your tax returns is so that the government doesn’t apply WHT on your banking transactions with you none the wiser.

When you’re filing a return, you can claim WHT from FBR. After carrying out an audit and evaluating your returns, FBR will send a cheque in case it finds that you qualify for refunds.

If the idea is to enhance and broaden the tax base here, reforms in the taxation sector are necessary. There’s still room for improvement to simplify the tax filing process for citizens and firms alike.

It’s a fair assumption to make that there are many Pakistanis who want to contribute to the well being of the nation and pay their taxes duly, if only it wasn’t so complicated to file your tax returns in the first place.

The government for their part needs to reform the tax machinery in order to facilitate law-abiding citizens of this country. We hope FBR continues to streamline the process of how to file tax returns easily in the near future.

Samir is the Head of Entertainment at Lens by ProPakistani. You can reach out to him at samir.ya...


  • They should tax everybody in this country. But tax rates are ridiculously higher. I hope if people start paying their taxes. Tax rates will be lower gradually over the next few years. This is the area where no government has taken interest to enhance it. Instead all they do in first 100 days of government is licking IMF boots

    • FBR is getting notice and planning to enhance tax brackets so that maximum persons can be entered in this system…
      Basically we don’t understand exact tax system and its theme.
      Registration of person with FBR doesn’t mean he will have to pay tax.
      We are elaborating it wrong.

      • i want to get knowledge about tax from Basic i will pay fee kindly contact me 03462670190

      • how can i claim my extra tax given?like mobile bills? and is there any time limit associated with it? or I can claim it anytime? thanks

      • A.o.A
        Sheikh sb. I need some help regarding filling wealth statement section of iris fbr..
        I took loan from bank and now currently paying its installment; I want to know how I will adjust it on form in terms of loan as well as paying amount on installment to bank? also help to reconcile the amount to zero.
        Thanks.

  • “It’s a fair assumption to make that there are many Pakistanis who want to
    contribute to the well being of the nation and pay their taxes duly, if
    only it wasn’t so complicated to file your tax returns in the first
    place.”
    my thoughts exactly. I should be able to file tax return right from my PC or smartphone to avoid khuvari and kutto vali in govt offices. and it should be very easy and simple to follow.

    • Yes it is very easy.
      u don’t need to go any tax office.
      you can pay your tax from your smartfone.

        • yes, dekhen as per quantum of ur business..there may be complications while filing ur return.
          As nobody knows each and everything of every field so it can be learned by giving time to it…
          but if some of our brother blame us that lawyers and tax practitioner wants to get in every person then this is their business so every professional wants to enhance it….
          if anybody dont like it, they should not bother…

    • You will only file ur return but will not pay any tax if ur transactions are made by bank.
      You will be exempted from tax under FTR.

      • Sheikh Muhammad Ali sb,
        quick questions from you:
        1) Would money transferred into my Pakistani bank account from abroad (United States) be a taxable Income in Pakistan?
        2) I don’t work or earn in Pakistan (thought I’m a pakistani citizen), does that mean I have zero income?
        3) I have been charged WHT (under section 236P of ITO) on several banking transactions. Can I claim those by filing taxes? Would this make the money transfers from U.S. taxable for me?
        4) I know I can’t get a refund from FBR, can I set off WHT claimable against CGT I have been charged on my Mutual Fund investments?
        5) Can I file my taxes for last 3-4 years now to claim all the WHT I have been charged so far?

        I’d really appreciate getting your response on the above questions. Thanks in advance!

        • Ali Mohsin

          Sheikh Muhammad Ali sb,

          quick questions from you:

          1) Would money transferred into my Pakistani bank account from abroad (United States) be a taxable Income in Pakistan? NO

          2) I don’t work or earn in Pakistan (thought I’m a pakistani citizen), does that mean I have zero income? Yes

          3)Under section 236P of ITO) on several banking transactions. Can I claim those by filing taxes? Would this make the money transfers from U.S. taxable for me?
          Yes you can claim adjustments. Your transferred money will be exempted.

          4) I know I can’t get a refund from FBR, can I set off WHT claimable against CGT I have been charged on my Mutual Fund investments?
          Yes you can set off.
          5) Can I file my taxes for last 3-4 years now to claim all the WHT I have been charged so far? Yes upto 5 years, you can file your returns.

          I’d really appreciate getting your response on the above questions. Thanks in advance!

          • Thanks brother for the quick & precise responses! really appreciate it!
            A couple more questions:
            a) Would I be required to file my ‘wealth statement’ as well, if I want to claim the WHT charged to me on bank transfers?
            b) Do you think revealing my wealth to FBR is not a good idea (all my investment is from my hard earned white money, so I don’t have to hide anything), but still, what are the reasons why revealing my total Pakistani investments to FBR won’t be a good idea?

            • a) Would I be required to file my ‘wealth statement’ as well, if I want to claim the WHT charged to me on bank transfers?

              Yes you must be required to file wealth reconciled statement.

              b) Do you think revealing my wealth to FBR is not a good idea (all my investment is from my hard earned white money, so I don’t have to hide anything), but still, what are the reasons why revealing my total Pakistani investments to FBR won’t be a good idea?

              It will be better to declare all of your assets through a competent and experienced person.
              It is a misconception that you can hide something from FBR.
              They can question anything any time.

  • I earn by freelancing over freelancer.com, can I become a filer ? I am a student of Engineering, father lives abroad, need to register a car on my name as a filer. Property is on fathers name.

  • Please stop giving wrong information to the readers. The procedure for filing income tax return through iris for a employee / salaried person is wrong.
    The NTN won’t be allotted after 2 days.
    They don’t have to visit any RTO for obtaining NTN. Instead it will be allotted right away they submit their registration form through iris. And they can check their NTN by entering their cnic number on this page of fbr
    https://e.fbr.gov.pk/Registration/onlinesearchTaxpayer.aspx
    The person can confirm right away. And then for filing one doesn’t need any electricity bill or anything else in case of salaried person. Just mention these things clearly to help people.
    And on successful submission of income tax return, within a week their name will be included in the Active tax payer list and will be communicated to banks too through the system and they will not charge the WHT.

  • This is a not complete STEP BY STEP Guide to file Tax Returns.

    Do change the title of this post “How to get registered with FBR Online Tax Submission system – Step by Step”. This is truly not the guide to filing Tax Returns. This information is with the Tax Consultants / Auditors. Do you plan to offer this to Public…. ? There would be loads of intricacies.

  • They can take “this” from me. ****ing chimpanzees. The tax rates are so damn high, who would pay except few? Time to immediately lower income tax and other tax rates. Besides, government should increase its own revenue generating resources instead of being a parasite feeding on poor nation’s hard earned money. But that’s not going to happen as people will keep electing POTI, Noora League, Bhatta party, Mr 10% party over and over again even knowing that they are nothing but bunch of thieves and lunatics.

  • Me and my brother earn online by selling affiliate products from home and we do earn more than 400K in a year so can you tell me how to calculate tax we have to pay?

  • I am running a small business as well as doing a job in private sactor and I have a NTN no as a salaried person. May I return file as a salaried person or business man, further if I return file as a business man may I use this NTN or not. Thanks in advance if anyone guide me

    • u can file as a salaried person and also disclose business income.
      NTN will be used for every return.

  • Amir bhai you done a great job. Many people trap by lawyers just to make returns. I also want you to make a an other articles on the Sales tax and monthly salried person return

  • When i am selecting property , i cannot find lahore city. Instead there is CHOTA LAHORE and when i select this option , it changes my district to SWABI. Anyone else from lahore facing this issue ?

    • you posted this comment 5 hours a go and still no body from Lahore replied, wake up Lahorians, your brother needs guidance !

    • Chota Lahore is a small village situated in Swabi distt of KPK. Its just for your info and I hope you have overcome your problem as this is a one month old post :) cheers :)

      • At last they have added some areas of Lahore. They database administrator sucks. Instead of adding simple Lahore city , they have added few areas of Lahore. What should we do if we do not live in that area ? Instead of making it simple , they are making in more and more complex.

  • Sorry but this guide didn’t help as it’s assumed that the person filing was doing it manually already. You know why no one files tax in this country? Because the process is so f****** complex.

  • How do I contact FBR for WHT to be refunded because my source income has nothing to do with being salaries person in Pakistan

  • The website is pathetic.

    1- Capcha does not work flawlessly.
    2- FBR need to sync with phone companies/PTA for SIM registration information. I have three numbers (all registered and verified via biometric), this website says that the number is not registered with PTA. I rechecked with the Ufone and they confirmed that the number is registered under my name.

    I am giving up on this e-filling. Could not register even after trying for more than 2 hours.

    Khalid

      • After a fierce battle (with pta,pral,fbr and wafaqi mohtasib) managed to get it fixed. This efiling software is maintained by pral and they were helpful once I reached them. This issue should be sorted out now. If you have any problem with this application please contact pral directly.

        • Dear Wasim,

          Could you please share the steps you took to get this done?

          If I file taxes, what do I need to send to my banking institution to ask them to stop charging WHT on my banking transactions?

          • Ideally they should not if you’ve filed your tax returns. As per my information, FBR annualy refreshes it list for active taxpayers (filers) list. Check if your name is in the filers list. Meet the Bank manager along-with the list (available online) and persuade him to make their data correct. They may help…Regards

            • Appreciate your quick response!
              Have a great day there in your part of the world! :)

  • It’s like convincing everyone to put more water and faster in a bucket that has huge holes “purpose built” all around it. Yes Pakistan needs more taxes and a wider tax net too, BUT, why would i ever trust my one rupee to a racket of thieves and monkeys called as parliamentarians, so they could smoke it on ill conceived fancy projects ? Trust comes much before Tax and I can’t trust this lot with a nickel.
    Furthermore I am not into debates for N-League, PPP or PTI but if someone tells me that present government is serious, much less even trying running our country then he/she needs to change whatever they are smoking lately !

  • File Income Tax Returns with in 1 day (salary individuals) just for Rs. 1000/- only. Feel free to Contact at this no 0313 2205627.

  • How to file return for overseas pakistani? Filing tax return for the first time. Will it help me to get WHT desucted on bank transactions? I dont have any property yet in Pakistan… just some profit from bank account.

  • Last year I filed my wealth statement 116(b) and mentioned my property worth of Rs. 10.2 million, this year it’s market value has increased, should I increase that value in form??? or does it remain same?? Need help please

  • Yes, Mr. Ahsan you can revise your data within 60 days of filing of your return or registration without any approval.
    After 60 days you will have to send revision application.
    Anyway feel free to get information any time
    Cell & Whatsapp: 0333-5501319

  • And also Miss. Sarajatoi, you don’t need to review it but if you review then it will be written as reviewed value.
    It will be discussed only when it will be sold and the difference will be treated as Capital Gain.

  • I like this forum as here you can discuss an important topic like taxation.
    Actually filing of return doesn’t mean to pay tax.
    This is the point which must be conveyed to every person.

    • I am a fresh graduate and have no source of income nor any property. My brother is going to register a Pvt Ltd. firm & want to add me as a 2nd Director, for that he requires my NTN.
      can you guide me how to obtain one?

      • Dear Anum…
        You can get register yourself by going on iris.fbr website.
        Please select Registration for Unregistered Person.

    • salman it is not easy to file but it is possible you can. the person how is registered is sales tax he is liable to file sales tax return and also file a statement under section 165 every month if you contact me I will better understand you how to file sales tax return and statement according to your business you can contact me 03154848989

    • If you have already NTN. then it is not possible to make new NTN you can add your business or delete in your existing NTN . If you not understand then contact we will discus about it 03154848989

      • Salam
        As you already know that Income Tax Returns are being filed for the Tax Year of 2017, Due date of filing for Non-Resident, Salaried Individuals & Association of persons is November 15, 2017, which may be extended further.But to be avoided from any penalty I would suggest you all file your returns timely and be Active Taxpayer.
        Any Person or Association who want to file their Income Tax Returns can contact me
        03154848989
        Best Regards
        Mohsin Sajjad
        ITP

  • hello. i got my NTN in dec 2015, but to be in ATL i need to file my tax for year 2014-2015,though my business had no existence back then .
    what am i supposed to do now ?

  • hi, i m registered as individual in 4 april 2016 any 1 guid me about return file?

    • yes you should file you inocme tax return because you registered in April 2016 . and if you are salary person than show your salary of three month and file your return .

  • I DO NOT feel comfortable in handing out my MOST PERSONAL information to a website which can most likely …

    1. Easily get hacked.
    2. Known to be formed by a corrupt government.
    3. Possibly reports to the United States and or worse Israel.
    4. Does not give me any guarantee whatsoever that my information will remain confidential.
    5. Potentially sells my information to the highest bidder if needed.
    6. Clearly has issues with a smooth workflow of data.

    As a Pakistani citizen I feel that I am being robbed of my confidentiality and I should not be subjected to this.

    I refuse it.

  • Salam to all…. I want to ask the a new option of (BILL) has been added in withholding tax statement in IRIS but there is no option to generate the bill. co can anyone guide me that how to work on that to file monthly statement in IRIS.

  • Receiving an Error at the time of submitting registration form I clicked on Registration for Unregistered Person and error is “You are not E-Enrolled to the System”

  • We do really need a simpler method of this. Iris is so complex that a hardcore numbers guy can’t easily fill it. There must be a solution to this madness. Kyun Amir bahi

  • Can someone please guide on how to file tax return for a non-resident Pakistani? This Iris is so complex. I just own a vehicle under my name in Pakistan and haven’t worked there since more than 6 years. Jazak’Allah.

  • I am a retired employee of a public sector bank.I am going for e filing for the first time.Would you please guide me which format I would use.

  • FBR E-Registration 181 Form has incorrect name after signUp, and [email protected] ||
    [email protected] are not fixing the issue any suggestions or advise would be helpful I have already tried call the helpline and the CSR says to submit the 181 form and according to my information (which may be incorrect) that once this 181 form is submitted it gets approved and the name is not changeable afterwards.

    • waqas did you submit the 181 form with your incorrect name then it is very difficult to correct your or if you still not file your 181 form then it is very simple to correct your name

  • nice sheikh sahab i read your all answer its very impressive for me bcz i am doing job in audit firm,these issues are very common and you guide in positive way.

  • dear i have problem my friend transfer amount for me in my account for my personal help. where i will be show this amount .

  • Salaam to All,

    As you already knows that Income Tax Returns are being filed for the Tax Year

    of 2016,Due date of filing for Non Salaried Individuals & Association of persons is September,30 2016 which may be extended further.But to be avoided from any penalty i would suggest you all to file your returns timely and be Active Taxpayer.

    Any Person or Association who want to file their Income Tax Returns can contact me @

    03316126105 whatsapp only.

    Best Regards,

    Ali Raza

  • Any person who want to submit there income tax return can take my help and discuse how to file online income tax return and how to create user id and password my contact number is 03154848989


  • >