ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday green-lighted the FBR to utilize the expenditures data for identifying millions of tax dodgers and bringing them into the tax net.The PTI-led government has decided to launch a major campaign for expanding its narrow tax base, as over 3.3 million National Tax Number (NTN) holders and others in shape of withholding taxes (WHT) do not bother to file their tax returns.So all identified potential dodgers would be served with notices through the centralized system to bring them into the tax net. On the expenditure side, the FBR developed its database through the utility companies, air travelers, property buyers and others that could be utilized to expand the tax base. “There is no dearth of data available with us so all out efforts will be launched to broaden the taxpayers’ base to ensure that no existing taxpayers should be burdened more. There are 3.3 million NTN holders who do not file their tax returns. There is data of WHT taxpayers who are not coming into the tax net. So the government has decided to expand the narrow tax base to bring many more into tax net,” Special Assistant to the PM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood told The News when contacted after attending a meeting chaired by PM Imran Khan on Thursday.To another query about the establishment of cooperation between the FBR and Nadra, he replied that there were legal issues involved in it but ‘we would continue to work with the Nadra and Law Division, but in the meantime we have plenty of data of our own to enable us to launch a major tax broadening exercise as the PM gave us the go-ahead’.On Thursday, two important meetings were held related to the FBR. The first meeting held in the morning related to the FBR’s Policy Board under the chairmanship of Advisor to the PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.In the afternoon, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting in which Dr Waqar Masood made a special presentation for expanding narrowed tax base. The premier green-lighted the FBR for utilizing the expenditures data for identifying potential tax dodgers and bringing them into the tax net.He directed that special attention be paid to elimination of unnecessary withholding taxes. The prime minister said promotion of SMEs was the top priority of the government. A press statement issued by the Finance Division after the meeting stated that Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the 3rd meeting of the FBR Policy Board at the FBR Headquarters.The delegation included prominent business personalities from Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce, Pakistan Business Council, Automobiles Sector, Tanners Association, Hosiery, Fisheries, Garments, Pharmaceutical Industry, Steel, Textile and other industries.Talking to the exporters, the prime minister assured the exporters and industrialists that their every viable proposal would be considered so as to provide maximum convenience and facilities to the business community.


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