Government Considers Blocking Bank Accounts of Non-Filers in Tax Reform Proposal

The Pakistani government is set to implement stringent measures against non-filers of tax returns, as part of the amended Finance Bill 2024. One of the key proposals includes blocking bank accounts of non-filers who fail to respond to tax notices. While deposits will still be allowed, withdrawals will be restricted until individuals comply and are listed on the Active Taxpayers List (ATL). The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) plans to issue an income tax general order (ITGO) to enforce these regulations effectively.

Initially, the proposal to block bank accounts was part of the original bill but faced initial rejection. Now, the government is revisiting this measure to bolster tax compliance across the board.

Another significant change outlined in the Finance Bill is the introduction of a fixed sales tax on mobile phone imports. This new tax structure aims to replace the existing 18% variable tax, providing clarity and consistency in tax obligations for importers. The move is expected to simplify the tax process, ensure more predictable revenue generation, and streamline tax collection efforts.

These measures form part of a broader strategy to enhance tax compliance and increase revenue for the government. By targeting non-filers and standardizing taxes on imports, Pakistani authorities aim to foster a more efficient and equitable tax system. The implementation of these policies will be closely monitored to gauge their impact on compliance rates and economic stability, ensuring they achieve their intended objectives without unduly burdening taxpayers.

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