ISLAMABAD - Only 23,845 or 38 per cent companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) filed tax returns with the FBR. Out of these 38 per cent that file tax returns, 10,639 or 17 per cent filed zero tax and only 21 per cent paid amount in their tax returns.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), while speaking to media stated these figures adding that a balanced strategy was required to include all economic classes under the tax net, based upon the suitable tax bracket.

The SDPI analysis of the FBR tax directory concludes that, out of total direct taxes Rs739 billion, collected in FY-2012-13, Rs344.67 billion or 47 per cent of the total income tax was deducted from at-source as this tax was paid by the registered business enterprises. The FBR collected Rs395.01 billion or 53 per cent from individuals or non-registered entities.

Other form of registered business is Association of Persons (AOPs) that is registered in provinces under Partnership Act 1932. According to available estimates, the total figure of registered AOPs is 124,000 across country. Out of total registered AOPs, only 40,700 or 33 per cent AOPs filed tax returns, among these 15,961 AOPs paid zero rupee tax, six AOPs filed return in negative and each AOPs get Rs400 rebate from the FBR.

 The tax directory shows that the major portion of direct taxes came from the big companies.

There were only 45 companies that paid tax of more than Rs1 billion and their tax contribution was Rs192.778 billion. 34 companies paid tax from Rs500 million to Rs1 billion and their tax contribution were Rs22.854 billion. There were 242 mid category companies that paid tax from Rs100 million to Rs500 million and their tax contribution was Rs51.509 billion. Out of total FBR’s direct tax collection, only 321 companies contributed Rs267.24 billion. He emphasised that the civic education is required for every citizen and media can play its effective role, through spreading awareness and educating masses about the benefits of paying taxes towards contributing to the national economy.