A new media report reveals that over 100 Members of Parliament (MPs) do not pay taxes. Moreover, they are not even registered with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
According to a report carried by a media outlet, of 1,170 parliamentarians, 161 violated tax laws. They did not pay their due income taxes or filed any tax returns.
Furthermore, atleast 103 MPs own collective assets worth Rs 8 billion, however, official data shows that they do not pay their taxes regularly. Also, four MPs, despite not paying taxes, purchased properties worth millions of dollars in Dubai, Norway, and London in the last ten years.
Interestingly, the report also claims that 73 of the 103 MPs belong to major political parties. Also, two hold a minister’s portfolio in the federal cabinet. However, the mainstream media did not reveal the names of the federal ministers in question. The list includes MPs from the PTI, PMLN, PPP, MQM, JWP, BAP, ANP, JI, JUI-F, JUI-F Nazriati, MMA, Pk-MAP, BNP, and independent MPs.
Important to note, non-filing of return and wealth statements is a violation of Sections 114 and 116. A leading news outlet revealed that FBR denied commenting on the matter.
FBR’s drive against tax evasion
The report came while FBR is currently on a mission to eradicate tax evasion in Pakistan. According to reports, the FBR registered 215 FIRs against 267 accused and attached properties worth Rs235 billion involving a tax amount of Rs76 billion. The FBR also attached 640 bank accounts.
With such a zero-tolerance policy towards tax evasion, the FBR claimed that it will ensure that strict action will be taken against those involved in tax fraud.
Important to note, this year, the FBR’s revenue collection witnessed considerable growth. The FBR collected net revenues of Rs. 2,314 billion during July-November 2021-22 as against the collection of Rs. 1,695 billion during July-November 2021-21.
According to provisional figures released by the board here, the collection also exceeded the set target of Rs. 2,016 billion for the period by Rs. 298 billion.
Taking to Twitter, PM Khan congratulated the FBR team for the remarkable achievement.
#FBR has won the first ever court conviction for the offence of money laundering, involving massive tax evasion. The accused is punished with imprisonment, fine and forfeiture of entire ill-gotten/concealed money of Rs. 2090 Million. pic.twitter.com/MdCfLkoydP
— FBR (@FBRSpokesperson) December 2, 2021