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Mubarak Zeb Khan


Published Date: Jan 8, 2015

76pc corporate taxpayers did not file returns in 2014

ISLAMABAD: As many as 76 per cent corporate taxpayers filed no tax returns for the tax year 2014, reflecting poor tax compliance and administration.

In the second year of the PML-N government, tax compliance in the corporate sector has deteriorated. Earlier, 61pc corporate taxpayers filed their tax returns in 2013.

Official figures available with Dawn show that the total number of corporate taxpayers who filed tax returns stood at around 15,000 against 64,000 companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

A tax expert said there were simple ways of ensuring compliance of tax returns filing in today’s world as even developing countries like India and Sri Lanka have such systems in place.

As per statistics, corporate taxpayers filed 15,000 returns in 2014 as against the 24,000 tax returns filed last year, reflecting a decline of 9,000 companies which did not file their returns.

However, the official of a company said there was no way to judge whether a company is being honest about its taxes.

“Most of these companies will be making a loss, due to various reasons like power shortage, gas shortage or the fact they are in a development phase (ie not making money). We need more evidence, and research to find out what exactly is happening,” the official commented.

December 31, 2014 was the last date for the filing of tax returns, which is binding on all companies whether making profit or loss as it is an important step for documentation and declaration of a company’s assets.

An analysis of last year’s corporate returns by the Islamabad-based think tank Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) showed that as many as 10,639 corporate taxpayers paid no taxes in 2013. Though these companies filed tax returns but they paid zero taxes.

Further analysis shows that only 13,206 companies (21pc) paid income tax in 2012-13, meaning that 62pc (38,144) companies were non-tax compliant.

Until December 2014, as many 850,000 non-corporate people have filed their returns in 2014 as against 835,000 filed last year, reflecting an increase of 17pc.

On the compliance side, less than 26pc people, who exist on the tax roll (issued National Tax Numbers), filed their returns in 2014. This clearly shows that more than 74pc people have not filed their tax returns for the tax year 2014.

In all there are 3.2 million people who are in the possession of NTNs

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