The government has recently announced to start a campaign to bring some 100 tax evaders in the tax net. While talking to the media, the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the new government cannot make all the things right in just a few days. He added that the previous governments are responsible for damaging the economy of the country but now we have started moving forward on the right track. He also said that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will not impose a tax on the poor but on the rich people.
Although many governments in the past have made similar statements regarding tax in Pakistan, unfortunately, we have always seen that those who regularly pay tax always endure the burden while the others easily escape the system through corruption. Many people in Pakistan pay tax less than what is appropriate as per their income. The wealthy businessmen who invest in large enterprises are not even in the tax net. The government needs to take some steps to make those rich investors pay their tax.
There are numerous measures that the authorities can take to catch the tax evaders and generate the revenue for the national exchequer. For instance, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) can collect the records of the proprietors of large plazas, shopping malls and towers and the owners of the firms established in those buildings located in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and other big cities. The officials can then check how much tax these rich businessmen are really paying. In this way, the FBR can analyze the amount of tax paid by such individuals till date and also they will get to know the sources of their income.
Besides noting the amount of tax being paid by the employees working in the government institutions, the administration should not ignore the private sector. In the area of the country’s economy that is not directly handled by the government, the complex problems revolving around the tax system should be resolved. The unimportant barriers in the way of paying the tax should be removed and the doors to corruption should be closed. If a person is paying his full tax, the authorities should not charge him any additional fee that may result in an increase in the amount of tax imposed on him.
In Pakistan, the illegal wealth is mostly used to purchase gold and property. Money obtained from illegal resources is used mostly to buy physical assets or is transferred abroad through unlawful methods. The government needs to keep an eye on such activities. There needs to be a mechanism to detect the source of cash which is used to buy gold, silver, and land in Pakistan. Many people don’t like the officials to know their income sources so that they can escape the tax net.
In a country like Pakistan, where there are corrupt people in almost every other institution, it is very easy for a person to avoid paying the tax. There are electricity theft, loan mismanagement, and a lot of other crimes happening in our state. The government fails to collect the tax because it has not designed any proper system to track all the financial transactions taking place in the country.
To encourage the people to pay tax, the system of tax needs to be transparent. In Pakistan, sadly, there is a less direct tax but a more indirect tax. Many workers especially those who are salaried employees get their earnings every month after a deduction of a massive amount of tax. The teachers, accountants, journalists, and doctors are among them.
On the other hand, there are traders who take advantage of weaknesses of the system, and they start stealing the tax. There is a need to impose heavy taxes on very rich people who earn a huge amount of cash but do not pay any tax at all. The institutions that collect the tax need to get rid of corruption. Last but not the least, we, as people of this country also need to make our necessary contribution to the country’s revenue. It is our moral duty to honestly pay all of our taxes so that Pakistan can develop faster than other countries.