ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – In a significant move to enhance tax compliance and curb tax evasion, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has blocked approximately 11,250 SIM cards belonging to non-filers under the Income Tax General Order (ITGO). This action, announced by an FBR spokesperson on Thursday, underscores the agency’s commitment to promoting a culture of tax compliance in Pakistan.

Enforcing Tax Compliance

The FBR’s spokesperson highlighted that this initiative is part of broader efforts to ensure adherence to tax regulations and to foster a tax-compliant culture among citizens. “The FBR is dedicated to enhancing tax compliance and promoting a tax culture. Blocking SIM cards of non-filers is one of the measures aimed at encouraging individuals to fulfill their tax obligations,” the spokesperson stated.

Broader Measures Against Non-Filers

Earlier this year, the FBR decided to disable mobile phone SIMs associated with 506,671 individuals who did not appear on the active taxpayer list (ATL) but were obligated to file Income Tax Returns for the Tax Year 2023. This measure was aimed at enforcing tax regulations and encouraging greater participation in the tax system.

The spokesperson explained that these steps are not only punitive but also educational. “By taking such actions, the FBR aims to remind non-filers of their civic responsibilities and the importance of contributing to national development through tax payments,” they added.

Encouraging Tax Compliance

Blocking SIM cards is seen as a strategic move to prompt non-filers to file their tax returns and become active taxpayers. The inconvenience caused by the deactivation of mobile services serves as a tangible consequence for non-compliance, potentially motivating individuals to rectify their tax status.

The FBR has emphasized that these measures are part of a series of efforts designed to increase tax compliance rates. Other initiatives include public awareness campaigns, simplifying the tax filing process, and enhancing the efficiency of tax collection mechanisms.

The FBR’s actions are crucial for improving the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio, which remains low compared to regional and global standards. By broadening the tax base and ensuring that all eligible individuals contribute their fair share, the FBR aims to generate more revenue for public services and infrastructure projects.

Public Reaction

The reaction from the public and business community has been mixed. Some view the measure as a necessary step to ensure fairness in the tax system, where everyone pays their due share. Others, however, have expressed concerns over the potential for disruption, particularly for individuals who may be unaware of their tax obligations or have difficulties in filing returns.




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Sikander Raza, a Senior Technical Analyst



Hamza Saleem, a Senior Business Analyst



Irsa Sajjad, as a Research Analyst for Equities

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