Number of tax filers rises by 40pc as deadline looms


ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has received nearly 40 per cent more income tax returns for the tax year 2019 compared to the preceding year ahead of the Jan 31 deadline.

The board received 2.285 million tax returns until January 29 as against 1.635m returns filed in the tax year 2018.

The last date for filing of income tax returns for tax year 2019 was extended four times consecutively to facilitate individuals to file their returns.

For the tax year 2018, FBR had received 2.7m returns — the highest number in FBR’s history.

Under the World Bank funded project, one of the targets set for Pakistan is to enhance the filing of income tax returns to 3.5m until 2023.

Talking to Dawn, FBR spokesperson Dr Hamid Ateeq Sarwar said the last date was extended to facilitate people. It is being expected that more people will file their returns before the deadline, he added.

The bigger challenge for FBR is now to cross last year’s tax returns margin what to talk about growth over the previous year returns, he added.

Until Jan 29, the FBR has received 2.139m returns from both salaried and non-salaried individuals. Similarly, as many as 59,243 returns were received from the association of persons (AoPs).

The filing of tax returns by the companies is not that encouraging as only 35,233 companies filed their tax returns.

The total number of companies registered with the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan is 105,407.

This clearly shows that compliance level in the corporate sector is very low.

An official statement issued on Wednesday urged all taxpayers to file their tax returns before the deadline of January 31.

It further said that all those people who possess house of more than 500 square metres and a car of over 1,000 cc are supposed to file their tax returns.

It further said that it is also mandatory for all commercial and industrial consumers of gas and electricity to be on active taxpayers list.

Meanwhile, in another statement, FBR highlighted measures for facilitation of taxpayers. FBR’s Helpline is a free, fast and reliable service that is committed to provide the very best service to the public.

In the month of January, so far 24,200 people have complained through Helpline. Out of these complaints, most of the complaints were disposed without any delay.

Only some complaints of technical nature took a little time in disposal.

The number of complaints sent via email were 14,967. Out of these, 12,110 complaints were addressed immediately, the remaining 2,834 were resolved after seeking assistance from concerned Wings.

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