FBR Targets Two Million New Taxpayers with Inauguration of 145 District Tax Offices

FBR Targets Two Million New Taxpayers with Inauguration of 145 District Tax Offices

Islamabad, November 17, 2023 – The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has set its sights on adding two million new taxpayers to the national tax net through the establishment of 145 District Tax Offices, according to a statement released by the apex tax body on Friday.

The move comes as part of a broader strategy to enhance revenue collection and increase the number of tax filers in the country, a priority highlighted by the Prime Minister in recent high-level meetings.

The FBR, in its official statement, revealed the creation of 145 District Tax Offices, dedicated to bringing 1.5 to 2 million new taxpayers into the fold by June 2024. This innovative approach is expected to contribute to the expansion of the tax base, ultimately raising the tax-to-GDP ratio to the desired level.

Each of these newly established offices will be led by District Tax Officers, tasked with compelling Income Tax Returns from non-filers and preventing tax evasion. This initiative marks a pivotal moment in the drive to bridge the critical tax gap and incorporate all potential taxpayers into the system.

To effectively execute this plan, the FBR will appoint dedicated Inland Revenue Officers in BS-17/18 to oversee these offices. These officers will leverage third-party data obtained from various departments and agencies, which hold crucial information on investments in assets and significant expenditures by potential taxpayers who have so far eluded the tax system.

One key tool in the FBR’s arsenal will be the recently introduced Section 114B in the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. This section empowers the department to take stringent actions, including disconnecting utility connections such as electricity and gas, as well as blocking mobile SIM cards if taxpayers fail to respond to issued notices.

In a show of commitment, the Federal Government is actively supporting the FBR’s efforts, considering the introduction of a new Documentation Law. This law will mandate various agencies and departments to provide data to the FBR through an automated common transmission system. Collaboration with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) is also underway, with the Chairman of NADRA assuring full assistance to the FBR in widening the tax base through data integration.

The overarching goal of this initiative is not only to fortify the FBR’s capacity to enforce tax laws but also to simplify the tax-filing process for taxpayers through the establishment of dedicated offices, marking a significant step forward in the nation’s fiscal governance.