Pakistan Achieves New Record of 5.6 Million Active Taxpayers

Pakistan Achieves New Record of 5.6 Million Active Taxpayers

Karachi, January 29, 2024 – In a milestone for fiscal governance, official data released on Monday revealed that the number of active taxpayers in Pakistan has soared to a new high of 5.6 million, as per the updated weekly Active Taxpayers List (ATL) for tax year 2022.

The ATL, reflecting returns filed up until January 28, 2024, underscores the government’s resolute commitment to expanding the tax base and enhancing revenue collection. This achievement represents a pivotal step in elevating the tax-to-GDP ratio, a key indicator of fiscal health.

Officials at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) express optimism about a sustained increase in active taxpayers, attributing it to their aggressive campaign, which aims to bring more individuals with taxable income into the formal tax fold. Inclusion in the ATL offers tangible benefits, including lower tax rates on various financial transactions, incentivizing compliance.

Despite these advantages, a significant portion of individuals with taxable income continues to operate outside the formal tax system, often due to factors such as possessing undocumented wealth. Acknowledging this, the FBR openly recognizes the limited scope of the current active taxpayer base compared to the country’s vast population of 240 million.

In a statement, the FBR emphasizes, “Pakistan confronts a formidable challenge in its fiscal landscape characterized by rampant tax evasion, an alarmingly low tax-to-GDP ratio, and an inadequately low number of tax filers.” The country’s revenue generation suffers significantly, resulting in insufficient funding for critical public services and socio-economic development initiatives.

To confront these challenges, the FBR has outlined a comprehensive strategy to identify and integrate individuals with taxable income into the system. Their nationwide drive encourages all eligible individuals and income earners to “get registered with the Tax system and file their return of income.”

While the surge in active taxpayers showcases the effectiveness of the FBR’s initiatives, sustained efforts are deemed crucial to tackling tax evasion, encouraging compliance, and unlocking the country’s true economic potential. Embracing transparency and accountability can pave the way for a more robust and inclusive economy, capable of addressing the needs of Pakistan’s growing population and securing a prosperous future for its citizens.