Economy

FBR asked to win confidence of taxpayers

Khalid Khan
Friday, 04-November-2011

 


Squeezing poor, ignoring wealthy is inhuman
Authorities taxing patience of masses
 
Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said FBR need to win confidence of taxpayers to overcome image problem and tackle menace of low revenue collection.
 
Majority of taxpayers see moves of FBR with suspicion which is an obstacle in national development, it said.
 
Failed revenue collection targets contribute to underdevelopment and dependence on foreign donors, said Fahim Talib Butt, Vice President Legal Affairs of the PEW.
 
Allegations of lack of integrity, wastage of funds, misrepresentation, inefficiency, indiscipline and arrogance has created a gulf between tax collectors and taxpayers that need to be bridged through serious efforts, he said.
 
He said that industrialists feel that they pay too much of taxes while majority believe that the amount they give to the government as tax is not properly utilized.
 
Taxpayers do not want to pay for the princely living of the people who earn billions but enjoy tax relaxations, said Fahim Talib Butt. This has contributed to general discontent that has resulted in falling tax-to-GDP ratio.
 
These are some of the reasons behind disappointing performance of FBR as far as achieving targets, widening of tax base, checking evasion, recovering arrears, or initiating meaningful reforms are concerned, he added.
 
At the occasion, Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of the PEW said that frequent false claims of achieving or exceeding revenue collection targets has added to the unpopularity of the institution.
 
He said that over-reporting of figures and exaggeration in number of people who file returns has never helped FBR authorities.
 
Shifting tax burden from the rich to the poor is cruelty, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal adding that hurting fragile industrial and business environment and serving rich has made FBR a tool of oppression, he said.
 
Squeezing those who earn income below taxable limit while ignoring millionaires is inhuman, he added.
 
The intelligence and audit system of the tax body has become highly inefficient contributing only 8 per cent of the total collections. Over and under invoicing, penalizing existing taxpayers while cooperating with tax evaders has become a standard practice, he alleged.
 
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said situation will not improve unless FBR decides put its house in order. It should reveal names of parliamentarians, businessmen, and bureaucrats, enjoying luxuries and paying mobile phone and utility bills in millions but not paying taxes.
 
It should take to task professionals making millions but hiding their real income, he demanded.
 


 



    

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