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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Over 11,000 Tax Defaulters SIMs Blocked by FBR

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) blocked over 11,000 mobile SIMs as a strict measure against individuals who failed to submit their tax returns. According to FBR spokesperson Bukhtiar Muhammad, under the Income Tax General Order, 11,252 SIMs were blocked from May 22 to improve tax compliance and revenue.

FBR Committed to Promoting Tax Culture and Compliance

The FBR has identified over 500,000 non-filers and shared their data with telecom providers. A representative for the income administration said it was focused on encouraging an expense culture and consistency that would encourage individuals to satisfy their duty commitments by going to any necessary lengths.

Telecom Companies Agree to Block SIMs of Non-Filers in Small Batches

Following meetings with PTA and FBR on May 10th, telco firms have agreed to block SIM cards belonging to non-filers in small groups manually. This resolves the previous impasse between these entities.

Previous Court Ruling: Islamabad High Court Issues Stay Order

Earlier this week, IHC issued a stay order against the government’s decision to block mobile connections for defaulters. However, it later clarified that the order only applies to Zong’s private operatorship, not the whole ban.

FBR’s Previous Attempt: List of 56,671 Non-Filers Issued

On April 30th, FBR released the names of those persons who didn’t file income returns for the year ending March 2023 and blocked their Mobile connections as a penalty. However, telcos challenged this move, saying its impracticality would harm common man.

PTA’s Refusal: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Refuses to Implement FBR ‘s Decision

On May 4th, PTA refused to implement any such orders given out by the Federal Revenue Authority because legally. They can’t interfere in matters related to taxes that fall under the domain of other organizations. Besides being legally binding also stated that it wasn’t within their jurisdiction.

FBR

Telecom Companies’ Objections: Collective Objections Sent to Ministry of Information Technology

Ministry received joint objections from all telcos regarding haste shown while taking decision about imposing ban upon those people. Who don’t file tax returns as well as its impact over telecom consumers. Paving way for ministry response which should be taken into account. When considering enhancing revenue collection efforts from non-filers through mobile phone connections.

Agreement Reached: FBR PTA, and Telecom Companies Reach Consensus

Finally, on May 10th, after long discussions between the tax authority, regulator, and service providers, an agreement was reached. Companies would manually block a small number of non-compliant customers’ SIMs, thus ending the deadlock between the two parties involved in the dispute-resolution process. So now FBR can take further action against those individuals not paying taxes.

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