The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is facing difficulties in carrying out audits due to the shortage of staff in the machinery. This means that the revenue collection mechanism of the government is not only slow but also results in a number of cases of audit piling up with no timeline of when the cases will be resolved. This is precisely the concern which was shown by the newly formed government and their plan to increase the revenue of the government was to introduce a one-time amnesty scheme for those waiting for an audit. This will include a 25 percent tax payment above the taxes already paid by the companies.
While the government is trying its best to overcome the hurdle of less revenue collection, the real challenge lies in fixing the sluggish system of the FBR and equipping the actual institution to perform its duty. One of the basic reasons why employees are not able to deliver what the job requires is due to lack of skills. This means that the hiring process must be more vigilant in order to ensure that deserving people get the jobs and there is a smooth running of the revenue collection process.
FBR has also pointed out the misuse of the Green Chanel and the electronic clearance of imported goods. A system of coordination must be set up between the government and FBR to eradicate these difficulties. Tax evasion is a serious crime and one that is crippling the economy of Pakistan. The government must discuss the working of the FBR and with their cooperation come up with a revised system that makes revenue collection an easier process. At the same time, misdeclaration is a serious offense. Companies must be penalised if they misquote their actual worth and do not pay taxes accordingly.
(This news/article originally appeared in The Nation on September 18th, 2018)