ISLAMABAD - Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is likely to complete its investigation over the disclosure of information of tax returns of the parliamentarians to the press by the end of current month (December), sources said on Saturday.

Sources said that FBR would present its report regarding tax returns of the parliamentarians to the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) and Senate Standing Committee on Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs by the end of current month or start of next month (January). Therefore, sources said that FBR was likely to complete its report by next week.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs also took notice of the disclosure of information of tax returns of the parliamentarians to the press. According to the notice issued, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs has summoned the officials of FBR to discuss about the disclosure of income tax returns of the parliamentarians to the press on Monday. 

“FBR will take legal action against those officials who are found involved in leaking the confidential tax information of the parliamentarians to the press/NGO”, said an official while talking to The Nation. He was of the view that FBR is likely to complete its investigation by the end of current month of December.

It might be recalled here that Centre for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan (CIRP) and Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) had recently launched a tax report on members of the Parliament. According to the report, 67% of parliamentarians and 62% of ministers in the Federal Cabinet did not file their income tax returns.

The report further revealed that President Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik and other 34 of the 55 cabinet members did not file a tax return in 2011. Only 49 of the 104 senators paid income tax last year, and of the 341 sitting members of the national assembly, only 90 MNAs filed their tax returns. The federal cabinet comprises prime minister and his 55 colleagues.

However, only 20 ministers filed their tax returns. Of 28 parliamentary secretaries, only seven filed tax returns. Of the 55 MNAs holding key positions in the national assembly and its standing committees, only 15 filed tax returns.