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FBR to launch awareness campaign as only 850,000 file tax returns

FBR to launch awareness campaign as only 850,000 file tax returns

ISLAMABAD: The low number of income tax returns has forced the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to launch a campaign to create awareness among the masses about the benefits of paying taxes.

“The Board-n-Council has asked the Facilitation and Taxpayer Education (FATE) unit to improve and refine the proposal of the awareness campaign,” a well-placed source at the FBR told Customs Today.

“Need for launching the mass awareness campaign through all forms of media, electronic, print as well as state owned radio and television was felt because the number of returns was not acceding beyond 850,000 whereas the number of National Tax Number (NTN) holders is around 4.5 million in the country,” the source said.

The source said that in the mass awareness campaign, FBR would tend to introduce main tax linkages with the national development as well as inform the masses about benefits of paid taxes to the country. “The mega campaign will be launched in assistance with donor agencies, mainly German donor agency and hopefully the World Bank may also move step forward to contribute its share in bearing the expenses of the campaign,” the source added

“Apparently, FBR is going for this mass awareness campaign with an aim and objective to sensitize people to pay due taxes well in time in an appropriate manner, but in real number of complying tax payers is decreasing instead of increasing despite all efforts being made by FBR,” the source added, saying that FBR was not only striving for increasing number of NTN holders but tax returns filler too.

The source said that FATE Wing moved the proposal for launching the mass awareness campaign in an informal Board-n-Council meeting of the FBR held this week and Board-n-Council asked the mover to further refine the proposal n present against along with inclusion of relevant topics and clarity of objectives.

The source added that Board-n-Council also asked the donor agency to further furbish its input on the subject to make the exercise a success story. Hopefully, the proposal will be finalized by the end of this month and mass awareness campaign will be launched from the next month, January 2015” the source added saying that seminars, workshops, references would be organized in major cities and towns for public awareness. “Prior to opting for seminars and workshops, consultants will also be hired to make adequate preparations for these activism, ”the source added.