Pakistan to block mobile sim cards of over 5 lakh users for not filing tax returns

An official told Dawn that the FBR identified 2.4 million potential taxpayers who did not exist on the tax rolls.
Pakistan to block mobile sim cards of over 5 lakh users for not filing tax returns
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Authorities in Pakistan have decided to block the mobile phone SIM cards of over half a million users as part of the drive to take action against tax evaders, PTI reported on Wednesday, citing local media.

In an order, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said the mobile SIMs of 5,06,671 individuals, who failed to file their tax returns for 2023, will stay blocked until restored by the body or the Commissioner Inland Revenue.

The federal law enforcement agency also directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and all telecom providers to immediately implement the order to block the SIM card and file a compliance report by May 15.

According to the Active Taxpayers List (ATL), the FBR received 4.2 million taxpayers until March 1, 2024, as against 3.8 million returns received during the same period of last year.

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Pakistan to block mobile sim cards of over 5 lakh users for not filing tax returns

The newspaper added that the blockade of SIM cards is a new easy measure taken by the FBR to encourage low-income people to submit their tax returns to increase the number of return filers, which so far appears to be a good idea on paper.

Source: Hindustan Times

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