Active Taxpayers List Swells to 4.84 Million: FBR

Active Taxpayers List Swells to 4.84 Million: FBR

Islamabad, July 1, 2024 – The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) announced on Monday a significant increase in the number of active taxpayers, which has risen to 4.84 million based on returns filed for the tax year 2023 by June 30, 2024.

This marks a notable surge from the 3.35 million active taxpayers listed in the initial Active Taxpayers List (ATL) for 2023 launched on March 1, 2024.

The FBR attributes this increase to several key initiatives, including a recent campaign targeting non-filers by threatening to block their mobile phone SIM cards. This aggressive approach, coupled with measures introduced in the 2024-25 budget, has effectively encouraged compliance among those who had previously not filed their tax returns.

A significant catalyst in this compliance drive was the issuance of Income Tax General Order No. 1 on April 29, 2024. This directive mandated telecommunications companies to block the SIM cards of individuals who failed to file income tax returns and wealth statements for the year 2023. This order, impacting over half a million non-filers, has proved to be a powerful motivator for many to regularize their tax status.

The FBR’s hardline stance is part of a broader strategy aimed at expanding Pakistan’s tax base, which is essential for improving the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio. This ratio is a crucial indicator of fiscal health and economic efficiency. By linking tax compliance with mobile connectivity, the FBR has effectively incentivized taxpayers to ensure their status is regularized. Being on the ATL not only prevents the inconvenience of disabled SIM cards but also qualifies individuals for reduced tax rates on various financial transactions, further promoting compliance.

Despite these advancements, the gap between the active taxpayer base and Pakistan’s total population of 240 million highlights the ongoing challenges in achieving comprehensive tax coverage. To address these issues, the FBR is intensifying its outreach through awareness campaigns, simplifying tax procedures, and enhancing digital infrastructure to facilitate compliance.

FBR officials assert that these proactive measures are fundamental to fostering a robust compliance culture, essential for Pakistan’s fiscal stability and sustainable economic growth. By embedding such a culture, the FBR aims to provide a more predictable environment for economic planning and development.

With the ATL now publicly accessible, the FBR aims to uphold transparency and encourage greater participation in the tax framework. This transparency is intended to foster trust among citizens and promote a fair taxation system where compliance yields tangible benefits.

As the deadline for SIM blocking approaches, the FBR continues to strive for higher compliance rates, crucial for the country’s broader economic stability and advancement. The recent measures and strategic initiatives are expected to result in significant improvements in tax compliance, thereby contributing to Pakistan’s economic prosperity.

This surge in active taxpayers underscores the impact of the FBR’s innovative approach to tax enforcement and the importance of continued efforts to expand the tax base. By maintaining and building upon these initiatives, Pakistan can look forward to a more stable and robust economic future.