Filer or Non-Filer?

Orienting state policy in favour of the corporate oligarchy is the basis of the corporate-Hindutva alliance.

By Sehrish Fatima | December 2019

All over the world, to run the government and for the accomplishment of development projects, taxes are collected from the public. For tax collection in Pakistan, there is a formal  organization called the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR); its primary function is to legally collect taxes from the public according to their monthly and annual income and deposit it into the national treasury. It has been observed that the government is always lamenting about scarcity of resources whenever there is talk about projects and matters pertaining to public welfare and prosperity. There is a general perception that tax evasion is a common practice that leads to the government treasury remaining empty and not being able to meet the deficit. Loans are taken from national and international banks and financial institutions on their prescribed terms and conditions because there is no other choice. Seven decades have passed since the founding of Pakistan and many governments have come and gone. Many politicians have claimed that they will break the shackles and people will get relief. But as soon as they come to power, they start grumbling that the people do not pay taxes.

Is tax really evaded by the masses? Where does the money go of people who pay taxes? Despite payment of different taxes listed, the complaint persists that tax is not paid.

Income Tax, wealth tax, withholding tax, sales tax, professional tax, general sales tax, property tax, building tax, mobile phone tax, custom duties, service tax, excise tax, motor vehicle tax, agriculture tax, corporation tax, metropolitan tax, Hajj tax, Umrah tax, toll tax, tax on banks’ profit, tax on profit of saving schemes, etc. - innumerable taxes are collected all the time. The question still remains that where does all this tax go as the people are continue to be deprived of the basic amenities of life?

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The writer is associated with the National Financial Literacy Program for Youth at the National Institute of Banking and Finance, Islamabad. She can be reached at sehrish.fatimaa@gmail.com

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