In an earlier story, ProPakistani reported how Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have introduced an inexplicable policy where mobile phone users are charged 15 times the actual cost of the phone as customs duty.
Social media platforms are going bonkers with people posting screenshots of them being charged up to Rs 50,000 for a mobile phone that costs no more than Rs 4,000.
As absurd as it is, in reality, PTA did invoice a customer with a tax bill of Rs. 50,000 for a mobile that costs a mere Rs. 4,000. What’s worse, is that the same can happen to you as well.
Keeping reading to know why.
Imagine there’s a phone of XYZ brand that you purchased for Rs. 4,000. It turns out that this phone is not registered and you are willing to pay taxes on the phone.
To get the phone registered with PTA, you would need the IMEI number of your newly purchased phone. It could be the case that the IMEI number of this phone was changed and the current IMEI number that the phone users, was actuality tagged with Samsung Note 9.
Even if you are carrying a Rs. 4,000 phone, but the IMEI number registered on it is actually from a Samsung Note 9, PTA has the right to charge you with taxes that are applicable on Samsung Note 9.
If you are familiar, DIRBS — the system through which phones are registered with PTA — essentially works with IMEI numbers and doesn’t recognize the phone make or models.
It entirely relies on IMEI numbers and identifies the phone and make through these numbers. Therefore, regardless of the price tag of the phone if it has a modified IMEI, the DIRBS will charge you wrongly and you may end up paying higher taxes.
Here’s the lesson: Never buy an unregistered or non-compliant phone. Mainly because you simply can’t determine if the phone is smuggled, with an altered IMEI and so on.
And mind you, if the IMEI number you are carrying is of a high-end device, taxes might go into tens of thousands, actually up to Rs. 54,000.
Now you might be thinking that it is the responsibility of PTA to identify whether your phone’s IMEI is duplicated or reprogrammed. PTA explains that it has “developed and established DIRBS to curtail counterfeit mobile phone usage, discourage mobile phone theft, and protect consumer interest.”
To avoid any inconvenience of buying a phone with reprogrammed IMEI, users are advised to check the IMEI number of the phone and make sure that it actually belongs to that phone. You can do so by sending your IMEI number via SMS to 8484 or visiting this link.