Difficult in registration of Tax is reason for FBR failure
It is shameful to think that one of the biggest and well funded organizations of Pakistan, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has not even registered 1% of the population of Pakistan for tax since their inception. While to add insult to injury, they are also responsible for issuing millions of illegal repayments every year.
When the fact of very low tax base in Pakistan was highlighted in the media, the FBR took drastic actions but none of them were beneficial. FBR harassed the tax payers and business owners by publishing their names, started issuing threatening press releases and advertisements, requested increases in taxes on already well documented and taxed industries, while also revising down their tax collection target many times and still failing to achieve it. It was even reported that half the staff of FBR, themselves were not paying any taxes.
FBR will fail again to reach tax collection target, while also fail in increasing the number of tax payers in Pakistan, because they have still not understood the real problems. The biggest problem for tax payers is to get themselves registered and get easy access for help in tax submission.
For example, in January this year, my friend’s office, a Government owned company, requested FBR in Peshawar to register their organization for tax. And even though they requested FBR time and again to expedite the registration as they were generating tax payments, the staff of FBR only managed to register them on 25th June 2015, five days before end of year for FBR.
Similarly my friend, a private company owner wanted to register for NTN and Sales tax, but the FBR did not entertain their request and till date have not provided the registration. Such actions not only dishearten people from registering for tax, it also emboldens many to stop paying tax, as it shows that FBR is least interested in increasing the tax base or even to do their respective jobs.
Therefore I would like to suggest the Chairman of FBR and the Minister of Finance, to try to register a company or person, themselves, through the various FBR offices and see for themselves what the common Pakistani has to deal with to register or to pay their tax.
Registration and paying of tax should be a simple and quick process, to encourage more tax payers in Pakistan. Or another more Islamic solution would be to abolish income tax on salaries, as it is un-Islamic, while ensuring strict adherence to Sales tax, import tax, property tax and profit tax. Thus reducing the need for registering everyone for tax, instead only individuals earning profits will be audited by FBR for tax calculation.
ENGR. MUHAMMAD BASEER KHAN