FBR Committee Proposes 30% Tax on Non-Filers’ Bank Deposits

FBR Committee Proposes 30% Tax on Non-Filers’ Bank Deposits

Islamabad: The high-powered budget anomaly committee constituted by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has proposed a 30 percent tax on bank deposits of non-filers.

This recommendation, aimed at broadening the tax base and curbing black money, was announced at a press conference held at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Headquarters.

The FBR Anomaly Committee is led by Atif Ikram Sheikh, President of FPCCI, and Gohar Ijaz, Patron of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA). They emphasized the urgent need to target non-filers, who are believed to harbor substantial amounts of untaxed money in bank deposits.

Addressing the media, Gohar Ijaz argued that around 90 percent of the money held by non-filers in banks is black money. He advocated for the imposition of a 30 percent tax on these deposits, asserting that non-filers should not be allowed to withdraw funds from their bank accounts until they pay this tax and become filers. “Instead of imposing travel bans, the government should ensure that non-filers contribute their fair share by taxing their bank deposits,” Ijaz stated.

Atif Ikram Sheikh highlighted the potential revenue this measure could generate, estimating that Rs13 trillion could be collected in a single day through this tax. He further stressed that while the government has levied taxes amounting to Rs 2 trillion on the general public, it should also focus on reducing its expenditures by 4.33 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and present this plan in the National Assembly.

Sheikh also proposed the immediate termination of agreements with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to alleviate the financial burden on the government. He suggested that the federal government could introduce an “usher” system and impose an Ushr tax on agricultural income, rather than burdening the salaried class and exporters.

The FBR Anomaly Committee dismissed the concept of late-filers and non-filers, insisting that everyone should be a filer. “We can increase the number of return filers to 50 million by introducing a simple, one-page tax return form under a self-assessment scheme,” Sheikh added. He emphasized that all income earners should be made filers to ensure equitable taxation.

Furthermore, the FPCCI has strongly opposed the Finance Bill proposal by the FBR, which seeks to punish businessmen involved in fraudulent activities with up to 10 years of imprisonment as a non-bailable offense. Sheikh criticized this measure, stating that while a business-friendly tax scheme is welcome, non-bailable warrants are excessive and detrimental to fostering a respectable tax culture.

The FPCCI also rejected changes in the tax regime for exporters, advocating for the restoration of the zero-rating regime on petroleum products to allow for input sales tax adjustments. Additionally, the committee opposed the FBR’s proposal of a 5 percent federal excise duty on commercial properties and the first sale of residential properties, arguing that the FED is a federal subject.

The FBR Anomaly Committee further recommended restoring tax exemptions on medical supplies to charitable hospitals, emphasizing the importance of supporting charitable activities.

Present at the press conference were Pattern Chief UB SM Tanveer, Senior Vice President Saqib Fayyaz Magu, Vice Presidents Zaki Ejaz, Tariq Jadoon, Aoun Ali Syed, Capital Office Chairman Karim Aziz Malik, Coordination Chairman Malik Sohail Hussain, Mian Zahid Hussain, Ahmed Jawad, Habibullah Zahid, and other notable figures.