Contradictions in the Federal Board of Revenue’s tax figures

The Federal Board of Revenue collected revenue of Rs 38.5 billion (4.3% of total income tax) through enforcement measures during the first half of the current financial year (July-December). On the other hand, there is a discrepancy in the FBRK tax figures.

According to figures compiled by the FBR, the agency raised Rs 38.5 billion through enforcement measures from July to December. This is 4.3% of the total income tax collected from July to December 2020. Although the amount is still small, it is almost double the tax collected in the same period last fiscal year. In the last financial year, from July to December, the FBR had collected Rs 19.7 billion.

In the first half of the financial year 2020-21, the volume of voluntary income tax payments stood at Rs. 256.7 billion, an increase of only 3.4% over the same period of the previous financial year. Voluntary payments include payments with annual returns and advance income tax.
FBR figures show that the tax paid with annual returns from July to December stood at Rs 50.3 billion, which is 1.3 per cent less than the period under review last year. Last month, the FBR claimed that enforcement measures had resulted in an increase in taxes paid along with annual income tax returns.

However, the latest performance report compiled by the FBR headquarters shows a discrepancy of Rs 23 billion between the tax paid along with the income tax return for 2019 and the figures released by the FBR last month. The FBR had claimed that the income tax paid with the annual return for 2020 increased by 55% to Rs 43.5 billion at the end of December 2020.

On the other hand, the handout issued by the FBR further said that by December 2019, taxpayers had paid Rs 28 billion in taxes. However, these figures differ from the FBR’s monthly performance report and quarterly reviews for July-December 2019.

When contacted, FBR spokesperson Syed Nadeem Rizvi said that the figures given in the press release were related to tax years 2019 and 2020 while the monthly performance report also included payments related to previous financial years under tax and return. He said that tax payments in the tax year 2019 are Rs 33.6 billion and for the tax year 2020 it is Rs 49.6 billion.

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