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November 9, 2018

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Government set to release lawmakers’ tax directory 2017

Government set to release lawmakers’ tax directory 2017

ISLAMABAD: The government is soon to publish a tax directory of lawmakers after a one-year break and more than 100 individuals in the list are shown as non-filers, sources said on Thursday.

The previous Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government introduced the practice of issuing tax directory dedicated to lawmakers in 2013.

Officials said the federal cabinet under chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan granted approval to publishing of the tax directory of parliamentarians for tax year 2017 in which more than 100 members belonging to all legislature forums during the last tenure did not bother to file their returns.

Finance Minister Asad Umar confirmed with the scribe that the cabinet approved the publishing of tax directory 2017 for parliamentarians.

It will be fifth year when Pakistan will be publishing tax directory of parliamentarians.

When the last tax directory was published in 2016, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said public trust and accountability across the board are the hallmarks of strong democracy. The actions of public representatives in any democracy serve as an example for its citizens.

The revenue division moved summaries to get permission of the federal cabinet for publishing tax directory for parliamentarians and approval of tax directory for the tax 2017 for all taxpayers. Around 1.6 million tax filers existed on the active taxpayers list during the last tax year.

“There are more parliamentarians who did not file their returns for tax year 2017 because the FBR had not undertaken effective campaign last year to facilitate them to come and file their returns,” a source in the FBR said.

Tax compliance by parliamentarians plays an important role in promoting a culture of tax compliance in any country. Studies have shown that citizens exhibit a higher motivation to pay taxes when their public representatives act as role models by being tax compliant.

“In order to fulfill its commitment to transparency and accountability, the government published tax directories of parliamentarians for the tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015,” an official said. “This step was widely welcomed and appreciated as a measure to introduce greater transparency and promote a culture of tax compliance in the country.”

In line with the tradition of the last three years, a similar effort has been made to publish a tax directory of the parliamentarians for the tax year 2016. The directory contains tax details of members of the senate and national and provincial assemblies. The FBR, in its summary moved to the cabinet, said it intends to publish the taxpayers’ directory for tax year 2017 in line with its tradition of ensuring transparency in the revenue division.

“After receiving approved minutes of the cabinet, the Tax Directory for 2017 will be published on FBR’s website,” an FBR official said.

Under a law (section 216 (5) of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001), the FBR may publish details of the taxpayers and their returns after approval of the federal government, the FBR said, requesting the federal cabinet to approve publication of the 5th edition of FBR tax directory.

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