The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has identified 76,000 senior officials of the Sindh government who do not file their income tax returns.
A board official, citing data obtained from the Accountant General’s office, highlighted that these non-filer officials are serving in grade 18 to grade 20 posts in Sindh.
Commissioner Inland Revenue Atif Ali wrote to the Sindh Chief Secretary on Sunday, drawing his attention towards the non-filing officials.
He noted that around 93,000 employees of Sindh government fall into the taxable income category, but only 17,000 of them have filed their tax returns.
The commissioner informed the provincial chief secretary that nearly 76,000 officials were violating Section 114 of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
Most of the officers, including those on the higher grades, remained complacent that because their salaries had been deducted at the source, they did not need to file their returns.
He asked the chief secretary to clarify the prevailing misconception among the officers and direct them to file their taxes as it’s a legal obligation.
Govt’s Efforts in Curbing Tax Evasion
The incumbent government is going in hard at non-filers and tax-evaders. The out-of-the-box appointment of Shabbar Zaidi as chairman FBR and the recent shake-up of officials – the biggest in history – are clear examples.
The government wants to eliminate all loopholes which allowed tax evaders to get away with it. This has prompted traders to protests against the government because they are now being forced to register their businesses and file their returns.
With rising inflation and taxes on the masses, this may hurt the PTI government on the political front. It remains to be seen how far they go to broaden the tax net.