ISLAMABAD - Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa on Wednesday said that government would check whether tax has been paid on the money used for purchase of plots anywhere in the country including the major housing societies like Defence Housing Authority and Bahria Town.

Chairman FBR said that government would examine that whether someone has paid tax before purchase of plot/land, as price of plot in posh areas of Islamabad is around Rs 50 million. He informed that FBR is collecting data from such sectors where expenditures and growth have been increased in order to broaden the tax base of the country. The government would take details from Motor Registration Authority, travel agencies and other relevant departments to examine source of income and payment of taxes of those who travel aboard frequently, Tariq Bajwa said while talking to media persons here. This move would help in broadening of tax base of the country.

Vowing to pursue zero tolerance policy for corruption, Tariq Bajwa said FBR has appointed honest officers at every level in the department. “We will bring administrative reforms in FBR by appointing honest officers that will help in generating additional revenue worth of Rs 535 billion, which can help us to reach the annual target of Rs 2475 billion”, said Tariq Bajwa. He showed his optimisms that board would achieve the uphill revenue collection target of Rs 2475 billion during ongoing financial year 2013-2014.

He informed that FBR is working to broaden the tax base of the country and it would issue notices to 100,000 non-taxpayers during the ongoing financial year 2013-2014. FBR has issued notices to non-taxpayers and further would be issued in September and October; he said and added, “FBR has asked NADRA to give details of database to broaden the tax base of the country”. Only more than 7,11,000 tax returns have been filed this year, he said and vowed to enhance it to at least two to two and half per cent of the overall population of the country.  

He further informed that remittances are exempted from taxes, as government wants to encourage remittances that could increase the current account deficit if tax is imposed. He favoured the imposition of agricultural tax and said that positive development has been made in budget in this regard.

Talking about the tax amnesty scheme, chairman FBR said that he is against such schemes as these are short-term solution and encourage the non-taxpayers in the country. He admitted that FBR generates more taxes from withholding taxes but collection of this tax is not an easy job. He said that there are lots of hotels, restaurants, and bakeries in major cities that did not pay any tax to FBR but they collect it from their customers.

He once again made it clear that chairman and members of FBR would access bank account of non-taxpayers. “We will not access the bank accounts of the taxpayers”, he informed. He dismissed the impression that accountholders have withdrawn money after the decision of giving FBR access to banks accounts.  

Tariq Bajwa further said that board in council of FBR has decided to appoint member Information Technology.

 Meanwhile, the FBR has decided to give refunds on first come first served basis. On a question, chairman FBR said that import duty has been reduced mainly due to decrease in import of duty-able items. He said Pakistan is a federation and center collects some taxes. He further said that federal government could not collect tax from agriculture sector.