FBR says more than 11,000 non-tax filers’ SIMS blocked so far

ISLAMABAD   -   In order to bring non-tax filers into tax net, the government has blocked over 11,000 SIM cards by May 22 under the Income Tax General Order (ITGO).

The FBR spokesperson said that tax department’s commitment to promoting tax compliance and fostering a tax culture. He said that 11,252 SIMS have been blocked so far.

In a move to enhance tax compliance and ensure adherence to the provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on April 30 this year had issued an Income Tax General Order (ITGO) in respect of individuals who are not appearing on the active taxpayer list but are obligated to file Income Tax Returns for the Tax Year 2023. Under the authority vested by section 114B of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, FBR has taken decisive action by issuing an order to disable mobile phone SIMs associated with 506,671 individuals who fall under the aforementioned category. These measures are aimed at encouraging individuals to fulfil their tax obligations and contribute to the country’s economic development.

However, the mobile companies had expressed concerns over the FBR’s decision. Later, the FBR has engaged in a series of significant meetings with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and telecom operators across Pakistan to ensure the effective implementation of Income Tax General Order No. 1, issued under Section 114 B of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. After several deliberations, the telecom operators have agreed to initiate the manual blocking process in small batches until their systems are fully equipped to automate it.

In this regard, the first batch comprising 5000 non-filers has been communicated to the telecom operators today for compliance regarding SIM blockage. Subsequent batches will be sent to them on a daily basis. Moreover, Telecom operators have also commenced sending messages to Non filers regarding blocking of SIMs for intimation purpose.

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