The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has registered an FIR against Shaheen Air International (SAI), the country’s second-largest airline, for alleged tax evasion and fraud of Rs. 955 million.
While the airline charged its customers federal excise duty, it did not bother to pay the taxes to the national exchequer.
The Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU) Karachi registered the FIR due to a complaint made by Irfan Ahmed, an Inland Revenue Inspector, after finding out that the airline hadn’t deposited its sales tax returns.
Since May of last year, aside from special Hajj flights and the flight that retrieved the stranded Pakistanis in China, all flight operations have been halted by the airline and according to reliable information, the owners have fled the country. There is not a single official in Pakistan and the company has closed its operations in the country according to an official of the Karachi airport services.
All the departments under the FBR authorities have been directed for a rapid response against tax evaders across the country and a few recoveries have been made as well. Action against those who were found defaulting during the audit is underway and tax demand orders had been issued, said FBR officials.
FBR underlined that various departments were working together to curb out tax evasion including the LTUs, Directorate General Intelligence, Inland Revenue, and Regional Tax Offices (RTOs).
The officials added that the field officers have been tasked with recovering at least 30-40% of the amount listed in the demand orders after closing the audit case.