Govt likely to block imports, exports of 80,000 firms, AoPs

ISLAMABAD: To persuade non-compliant taxpayers to file their returns, the federal government is likely to block the imports and exports of around 80,000 companies and association of persons (AoPs), whose names are not on the ‘Active Taxpayers’ List’, official sources informed here on Friday.

These companies and AoPs, despite having their businesses and National Tax Numbers (NTNs) have been found willfully defaulting on meeting the obligation of filing of their income tax returns and withholding tax statements. This action would be taken after giving them one opportunity to be compliant of the tax obligations and failing which would result in blockade of their imports as well as exports from the country from the date to be specified by the government, official sources explained.

The official sources in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed here on Friday that the FBR has compiled data of non-filers of income tax returns and withholding tax statements for the tax year 2009 for finalisation of provisional Active Taxpayers’ List. The FBR has identified these 80,000 cases of tax non-compliant companies and AoPs, which would be required to file their returns and statements to avoid blockage of their imports. In case they have been engaged in making imports/exports, but continue to remain non-compliant, they would not be included in the Active Taxpayers’ List.

According to official sources, the non-filers of income tax returns and withholding tax statements for tax year-2009 where no e-mail address is available will be intimated through the manual system. Under the plan, the companies and AoPs will be sent ‘Intimation Letters’ by RTOs and LTUs, for which data will be provided by the Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL). On the other hand, non-filers individuals (approximately 1.1 million) will not be sent any exclusive intimation; however they will be informed by the tax department.

Sources said that the board will issue warning notices to 80,000 companies and AoPs having NTNs to ensure their availability on the ‘Active Taxpayer List’ otherwise their imports could be blocked in case of persistent non-compliance. Through the respective RTOs, the FBR will issue notices to these companies and AoPs to get enrolment with the e-system of the FBR for electronic filing of their returns. In case of non-compliance, their names would not be included in the ‘Active Taxpayer List’, which may result in blockage of their imports. The FBR has also finalised the draft rules on the ‘Active Taxpayer List’ to be notified through amendment in the Income Tax Rules 2002.

According to sources, the FBR has finalised the ‘Active Taxpayer List’ for the business community which would be provisionally placed on the FBR website for comments. The final list would be displayed by the FBR after obtaining comments of the stakeholders. In this way, the FBR will systematically make public the Active Taxpayers’ List to ensure placement of the authentic list on its website. Before formal launching, the FBR will circulate the provisional list among the taxpayers.

Sources said that the FBR will also introduce an electronic inquiry system to check the NTNs of the taxpayers falling within the category of individuals.

The FBR has already declared non-filers of income tax returns/monthly withholding tax statements as ‘inactive taxpayers’, and advised the registered taxpayers to avoid transactions with ‘non-active’ taxpayers, which would result in declaring such buyers as ‘non-active’ taxpayers.

The board would suspend income tax registrations of persons, who would fail to file income tax returns, annual employer statements, withholding tax statements, wealth statements and advance tax payments by removing their names from the Active Taxpayers’ List.

Sources said that the FBR has finalised arrangements to announce the biggest enforcement measure to suspend income tax registrations of non-compliant taxpayers. The persons whose names being excluded from the Active Taxpayers’ List would not be considered as registered persons. The income tax registration of those taxpayers would also be suspended who would not respond to the notices issued by the department under Income Tax Ordinance 2001. The FBR would take extreme action against the non-compliant taxpayers under the scheme of Active Taxpayers’ List – DailyTimes