KARACHI, [Date] – In a significant milestone for Pakistan’s tax revenue collection, the number of active taxpayers has exceeded 1.8 million for the tax year 2017, as reported in the latest weekly Active Taxpayers List (ATL) released by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
The FBR sources have confirmed that the total number of active taxpayers for Tax Year 2017 now stands at 1.801 million, with the ATL 2017 remaining applicable until February 28, 2019.
The appearance of a taxpayer’s name on the ATL is mandatory for individuals and entities seeking to benefit from reduced rates of withholding tax. This achievement reflects the FBR’s concerted efforts to encourage tax compliance and expand the tax base.
The FBR had set an ambitious target of reaching 1.8 million active taxpayers for the tax year 2017, a goal that has been successfully attained. Throughout the year, the FBR dedicated its resources and machinery to engage with both existing and potential taxpayers, urging them to file their income tax returns.
Sources within the FBR revealed that taxpayers who missed the deadline for filing their returns for the tax year 2017 are still in the process of submitting their returns and gaining inclusion in the ATL. However, it’s important to note that this practice will not be allowed for the tax year 2018.
The government, through the Finance Act of 2018, introduced an amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, and created Section 182A. This amendment stipulated that late filers would not be treated as filers or active taxpayers. Consequently, the FBR received a total of 1.55 million returns for the tax year 2018, which will be the final count for the ATL 2018, set to be released on March 1, 2019.
Despite the initially strict stance, sources within the FBR have indicated that the government is considering allowing late filers to submit their returns and have their names added to the ATL. This reconsideration recognizes the practical challenges and circumstances faced by late filers and aims to facilitate tax compliance while expanding the tax base.
The achievement of surpassing 1.8 million active taxpayers for the tax year 2017 demonstrates the success of the FBR’s proactive efforts to encourage tax compliance and boost the government’s revenue collection. The ATL remains a valuable tool for promoting tax transparency and ensuring that eligible taxpayers benefit from reduced withholding tax rates.
It is important to underline that tax compliance is essential for the sustainable growth and development of Pakistan’s economy. A broad tax base ensures that resources are available for critical public services and infrastructure development, ultimately benefiting the nation as a whole.
As the government considers the possibility of allowing late filers for the tax year 2018, it underscores its commitment to promoting tax compliance while understanding the practical challenges faced by taxpayers. This flexibility is expected to further enhance the tax collection process and contribute to Pakistan’s fiscal stability.