Taxman’s job is to collect taxes
December 16, 2013: Demanding for the enactment of Taxpayers Bill of Rights, TheNetwork for Consumer Protection has said that the government should take steps to promote tax justice by eradicating tax heavens, bringing more people under tax net and ending dependence of retrogressive indirect taxation.
“Increasing investment and accelerating economic activity in the country should be treated differently from tax reforms that should aim at increasing the presently dwindling 9% tax to GDP ratio through strict enforcement of law and plugging the venues of tax theft. Giving amnesty under the cover of economic growth results in dampening the taxman’s energy to collect taxes, demoralization of honest tax payers and promotion of tax invasion and avoidance,” says Nadeem Iqbal, Executive Coordinator of TheNetwork for Consumer Protection that is running a USAID funded project to increase number of income tax payers in Pakistan.
In its election Muslim League Nawaz has committed to its voters that by 2018 the tax to GDP ratio will go up by 15%. This include both federal and provincial taxes. While a similar commitment has been made to IMF.
But TheNetwork opines that given the present approach the government will not be able to add much to the number of around 730,000, who filed their income tax return last year. While to meet its target, FBR needs to add at least 100,000 new taxpayers yearly to its net for the next three years.
The concept of Tax Justice calls for a level playing field on tax and opposes loopholes and distortions in tax and regulation, and the abuses that flow from them. It promotes tax compliance and opposes tax evasion, tax avoidance, and all the mechanisms that enable owners and controllers of wealth to escape their responsibilities to the society on which they and their wealth depend.
The main contours of tax refor