The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has served a Rs. 13 million tax notice to a famous YouTube prankster, Nadir Ali. The Karachi-based prankster is accused of concealment of income.
Nadir, who owns a YouTube channel named ‘P for Pakao’ featuring short prank videos has more than 820 million views in total. He also has over 3 million subscribers on his channel.
It was not clear as to when the investigation against him was started. However, the sources close to the matter said that the Intelligence and Investigation Department of FBR has concluded the investigations against him. The matter has now been referred to the Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue Tax Office (RTO)-III in Karachi for recovery of the tax evaded.
The tax officials said that Nadir was served multiple notices during the investigation, but he did not reply to any of them. As the case has been forwarded, he can now appeal before the Commissioner Appeals in the RTO office.
Nadir confirmed receiving the notice and said that he had responded in person through his lawyer and filed the appeal for an extension in the time to submit a reply, which was approved.
Nadir registered his channel with the income tax department in October 2017. For the first two years, 2016 and 2017, he showed no income and for the next two years, he declared Rs. 0.89 million and Rs. 14.44 million respectively.
But, the revenue board believes that Nadir has not submitted his full record of income and has concealed a large part for tax reasons.
As per FBR sources, he earned Rs. 2.186 million in the year 2017, Rs. 28.335 million in 2018 and 46.762 million in 2019. The details have been verified with YouTube.
Moreover, he received Rs. 10 million in foreign exchange during the year he claimed exemption without providing the proof. At the same time, he maintained a bank account that was not declared in the wealth statement.
This is the first case of its sort where FBR has gone after online content creators for not declaring online income for tax purposes.
Nadir’s case is a wakeup call for many YouTubers, Vloggers and online content producers who are generating a large income online that they should start filing returns before FBR takes an action.
It is noteworthy that incomes generated online are taxable and records need to be maintained for five years and declared in the annual return filings.