ISLAMABAD: Regional tax offices have widened the scope of issuing tax notices to the owners of private schools and tuition centres over their failure to come into the tax roll and pay their due taxes despite having booming business in big cities.
The notices have been issued to unregistered private schools and tuition centres by the dedicated zones of the Broadening of Tax Base (BTB) created at Regional Tax Office (RTO) Islamabad, RTO Faisalabad, RTO Rawalpindi, RTO-II and RTO-III Karachi and RTO-II Lahore.
Besides these zones, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has also created ranges of BTB in the remaining 13 RTOs to issue notices to the unregistered taxpayers. The BTB has been specifically directed to bring unregistered hospitals, educational institutions and their employees into the tax net.
The countrywide tax drive has been initiated to bring the maximum number of professions and sectors into the tax net.
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As per data, the BTB zone at RTO-II Karachi has issued notices to 6,324 private schools, A-level tuition centres, pre-nursery training schools and other academies which did not exist on the tax roll. The break-up shows that the notices have been issued to unregistered 4,954 secondary schools, 869 elementary schools, 245 O & A level schools, 171 primary schools and 85 higher secondary schools.
The BTB issues two types of notices in the education sector — one to the unregistered institutions and the other to the parents of students who pay more than Rs200,000 per annum as tuition fee but did not exist on the tax roll.
The BTB zone at RTO Rawalpindi has also issued notices to the unregistered educational institutions. “We have issued several notices to bring these unregistered institutions into the tax net,” a senior tax official told media. He said 166 employees of private educational institutions were also made to file their tax returns.
Member Operation Inland Revenue Service Seema Shakil told media that these zones were regularly identifying non-compliant sectors and issuing notices to them. She said almost all zones had been directed to identify the unregistered educational institutions to bring them under the tax net.
Earlier, Ms Shakil disclosed at a news conference on Tuesday that the FBR had already sent the first batch of 100,000 notices to the high-net-worth individuals for bringing them into the tax net. “We will issue another 100,000 notices in the second phase,” she said. The notices were issued after the expiry of the last date (Aug 9) for filing of returns for tax year 2018.
Ms Shakil said potential taxpayers were identified from the data already available with the FBR. The FBR has collected data of withholding, profit on debt and third-party information, including foreign travel, property transactions and vehicles purchases. The FBR has so far recovered a tax amount of Rs2.8 billion from 6,000 high-net-worth individuals.