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Non-filers Face Sims and Utility Connection Blocks This Month

Stay informed on FBR’s latest developments! Explore updates on tax filing, Sims and utility connections restrictions, and upcoming initiatives for digital invoicing in consumer products. Discover how the FBR Chairman aims to expand the tax base and improve revenue collection.

Non-filers Face Sims and Utility Connection Blocks This Month

FBR Chairman Amjed Zubair Tiwana announced that starting in January 2024, people who haven’t filed their taxes may face restrictions on using Sims and utility connections.

He shared with a small group of reporters that those who received notices had until December 28-29, 2023, to respond. After that, the FBR will publish a list of those who didn’t comply and their electricity and gas connections will be cut off.

It’s a legal requirement to reveal names after sending notices to non-filers. Once that’s done, the process of disconnecting electricity and gas, as well as blocking SIM cards, will start.

The FBR has submitted a report to the federal cabinet to nominate two members for the Anti-Benami Adjudicating Authority. The chairman mentioned that this authority would become operational soon, and its report is expected to be discussed at the next federal cabinet meeting.

Regarding changes in tax administration, the FBR chairman acknowledged that the government is considering creating a separate Customs Board from the Inland Revenue Service.

In January 2024, a pilot project for digital invoicing in the fast-moving consumer products sector will begin, according to Amjed Zubair Tiwana. Importers, producers, wholesalers, dealers, distributors, and retailer-cum-wholesalers will use the FBR’s electronic sales tax (e-ST) integration system.

The FBR Chairman expressed confidence that efforts to expand the tax base would bring in 1.5 million more filers. He noted that a lack of resources is the main obstacle to FBR’s effectiveness and emphasized that with more resources, income collection would increase.

He also mentioned that revenue collection is expected to accelerate in the second half of 2023-24 (January- June). In the first half of fiscal year 2022-23, the FBR collected 45 percent of the total collection.

The FBR chairman highlighted that efforts from advance taxes and assessments resulted in a significant increase in tax collection during the first six months of 2023-24. The ratio of taxes from imports to domestic taxes is approximately 40% and 60%, respectively, he added.

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Responding to a question, he mentioned that the FBR has effectively managed issues of maladministration in refund payments at the lowest level of verification.

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