ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Friday warned tax evaders and potential taxpayers to pay their liabilities before harsh actions initiated against them.
At the launching of National Sales Tax Return, by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), he asked the unregistered potential taxpayers to initiate paying taxes before the government reaches them within a couple of months with documentary evidence of their assets.
“I assure the nation that change is taking place, we are making use of technology and will reach all potential taxpayers.
Tarin said that with the help of technology, the government would reach to all those persons who have taxable assets but were not paying taxes adding that there was now no need to issues notices as the government was already possessing date of millions of taxpayers.
He said, the authorities would reach the tax-avoiders and provide them the tax returns with an opportunity to prove it wrong by consulting panel of auditors or pay the due taxes.
“We will not harass, we will tell them what they possess. If they don’t pay, then the law would take its own course,” he added.
Meanwhile, the minister congratulated federal and provincial revenue divisions for coming on a single platform and making payment of revenues easy for taxpayers.
He said, since sales tax on goods was federal domain and sales tax on services was coming under provinces, hence it was creating hardships for taxpayers.
Now, under the single platform, the taxpayers would be facilitated, adding that in previous system, if a company was operating in all the provinces, it had to deal with around seven agencies for filing returns, with chances of errors. However, now they would be required to file single tax under the new system.
He said that the government was also working on further harmonization of system to facilitate taxpayers and expressed the hope that ease in tax deposit system would help enhance revenues.
The minister said that three was no other way, if the country had to progress and prosper, there is need to enhance revenue collection. He cited example of Germany where he said there was no representation without taxation.
He lamented that there were only 3 million taxpayers out of 220 million population in the country.
He said, out of around Rs18 trillion retail sales, only Rs3 to Rs4 trillion were captured and Rs14 million sales are still missing from the tax system.