Pakistan Achieves Record High with 5.73 Million Active Taxpayers

Pakistan Achieves Record High with 5.73 Million Active Taxpayers

Karachi, February 26, 2024 – Pakistan has set a historic record with 5.73 million active taxpayers, according to official data released by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Monday.

The latest Active Taxpayers List (ATL) for the tax year 2022, which includes individuals who filed their returns and paid default surcharges by February 25, 2024, reflects the highest number of active taxpayers ever recorded in the history of Pakistan.

The significant surge in active taxpayers is regarded as a crucial step towards improving the tax-to-GDP ratio, an essential indicator of fiscal health. FBR officials express optimism about maintaining this positive trend, attributing it to their proactive campaign aimed at bringing more individuals with taxable income into the formal tax system.

Inclusion in the ATL comes with tangible benefits, such as lower tax rates on various financial transactions, providing a strong incentive for compliance.

Despite these advantages, a notable number of individuals with taxable income continue to operate outside the formal tax system, often due to factors like possessing undocumented wealth. The FBR openly acknowledges this challenge and recognizes the limited scope of the current active taxpayer base compared to the country’s vast population of 240 million.

In an official 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 is significantly affected, leading to insufficient funding for critical public services and socio-economic development initiatives.

To address 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.

The achievement of reaching 5.73 million active taxpayers marks a significant milestone, but the FBR recognizes that continuous efforts are essential for ensuring broader tax compliance and fostering a culture of transparency and accountability in Pakistan’s economic landscape.