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Kamran Akmal reacts after scoring fifty runs against England during a one day international cricket match in Durham, England, Sept 10, 2010. — Photo by AP/File

ISLAMABAD, Nov 2: The income tax department has issued notices to over 20 cricketers who were found to have evaded taxes over the past two years. More than Rs100 million is expected to be recovered from them in back taxes.

This is the first time that notices have been issued to cricket celebrities who will be grilled about tax liabilities.

The investigation department has already compiled the tax profiles of 21 cricketers on the basis of information collected by the income tax intelligence directorate of the FBR.

A senior income tax official told Dawn on Friday that the Regional Tax Office (RTO), Lahore, had issued notices to Umer Akmal, Misbahul Haq, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razaq, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Imran Farhat, Rana Naveedul Hassan, Saeed Ajmal, Taufiq Umar and Wahab Riaz.

In most cases, the cricketers have their tax deducted at source. They did not file tax returns and found legal ways to pay less by fitting themselves in the category of low tax liability.

According to the official, most of them paid tax at the rate of six per cent (minimum slab) which is a violation of the income tax ordinance. In accordance with their income they should have been in the higher tax slab.

The official said that an amount of Rs7.5 million was expected to be recovered from Umar Akmal alone.

RTO Karachi issued notices to Shahid Afridi, Younus Khan, Abdul Rahman, Asad Shafiq and Tanvir Ahmad; RTO Sialkot to former captain Shoaib Malik and RTO Peshawar to Umar Gul.

According to the official, RTO Rawalpindi has finalised notices to be served on Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanveer and Yassir Arafat.

And six cricketers -- Rana Naveed-ul-Hassan, Wahab Riaz, Asad Shafiq, Tanvir Ahmed, Yassir Arafat and Kamran Akmal -- do not figure on the tax roll at all.

Among the 15 prominent players on the tax roll, seven did not file tax returns in 2010 and 2011, although they might have earned huge amounts of money during that period from domestic and international cricket. They are: Imran Farhat, Saeed Ajmal, Taufiq Umer, Umer Akmal, Abdul Rehman, Umar Gul and Sohail Tanveer.

Misbahul Haq, who was captain during the recent series against Australia, filed only an employer’s statement about his earnings in 2010, but nothing the following year. Muhammad Hafeez, who captained the T20 matches in the same series, did the same.

Senior cricketers Mohammad Younus Khan and Shoaib Akhtar have been found to have done the same.

Last but not least, none of the cricketers has filed wealth statement.

Under the income tax law, it is mandatory for a person paying more than Rs35,000 in income tax a year to file the wealth statement.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

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Comments (24) Closed

Yawar Nov 03, 2012 02:38pm
these are big fish
Yawar Nov 03, 2012 02:48pm
I think the article would have served Pakistan well if it had identified national cricketers who have paid their full share of taxes in the past. In fact, a list of all high visibility figures, including artists and government officials, who do or do not pay their fair share of taxes should be made public. We need to be able to differentiate between our true heroes and criminals.
Yawar Nov 03, 2012 02:57pm
OK, so who in the Pakistan team is not suspected of tax evasion?
MUNA Nov 04, 2012 01:05pm
Great Zardari ki Great Riaya... :P
Adnan Khan Nov 04, 2012 08:08pm
sadly nothing is going to change these people only care about themselves like every other pakistani these days , we're still going to watch them play and paint our faces green and white whenever they beat someone .. what have we become
Asif Nov 04, 2012 05:29am
there is no big fish or small fish. Tax is for the country well being and for the people of the country who suppose to be benefiting when they are in need. It is sad to see how our so called national hero are failing to pay the taxes. They should be heavily fined but i am sure, they will get out of this, just because the entire pakistan government is doing the same. Shame on all of these people who call them the citizen of this great country.
Syed-S Nov 04, 2012 05:36am
Income Tax Department is doing what it can. They have to live in the same country.
Ajamal Nov 04, 2012 10:01am
This reflects the culture that has been nurtured in the country in the name of exemptions (agriculture income, armed forces income, etc). We as a nation are responsible for this state of affairs.
owais khan Nov 04, 2012 07:12am
i think its a dual standard big politician who not paying tanxes from several years and on the other hand when players becomes defaulter income tax department issue notice for these palyers..
Bhaiya Nov 04, 2012 03:38pm
They are role models. They should be setting an example. They should be held accountable.
Ali Khan Nov 04, 2012 04:08am
They found legal ways to do that, they acted within there rights, I think we should not blame them but the Government who need to close the loopholes. I think Gov. has left these holes, so they can evade the taxes themselves, it happens all over the world Mitt Romney running for president of the USA has done that. It's not a crime and I don't think anyone of them should be ashamed.
Aamir Amjad Nov 04, 2012 03:05am
Tells a lot about the quality of the CBR. Where were they all these years? This is a useless department full of corruption. Even now how many notices and action has been taken against tax evading politicians, bureaucrats, army personal and industrailists??
m.johri Nov 03, 2012 11:08pm
Good move by FBR.Heavy penalties should be impposed on all tax evaders including politicions and other high or low ranking officials.Implementaion of law is important in any society,no matter how influential a person is!
Ali Nov 03, 2012 08:24pm
it is one step forward in the right direction so why is not going well on your end. At least they are investigating the glaring cases. It is not always that clear cut and easy. Could you pleas mention a name? It is also citizens responsibilities to report tax evaders, did you do your part?
Tauseef H. Farooqi Nov 04, 2012 08:10am
Tells a lot about the character of our national heros too!
malik Nov 03, 2012 01:01pm
I agree. The first on the list should be Zardari....
Kamaruddin Afghan Nov 03, 2012 11:46am
Inome tax department must send notices to big fish first before showing their enthusiasm for sportsmen- a small fish.If it has been a law of the land that the tax department must recover taxes from all those who are required by law to pay their taxes the this should have been done and it should not have kept quiet.
Cyrus Howell Nov 03, 2012 08:17am
They are not setting very good examples for younger people.
Nauman Nov 03, 2012 08:15am
Our Heroes.
p r sharma Nov 03, 2012 11:15am
It is surprising that prominent crickets have not filed their Income tax returns for two years. Are they unaware of the tax laws or lazy with chalta hai attitude or deliberately did so with an eye on tax evasion.. Even if income tax is deducted at source it is mandatory to file the tax return . If celebrities behave like this what more can be expected from others ,
Khan J Nov 03, 2012 12:31pm
It is a criminal offence not to file your tax returns. Would any of these people be jailed for their offences?
M Khaleeq Nov 03, 2012 08:56am
Tax evasion is a part of culture in Pakistan.
vasist Nov 03, 2012 12:29pm
Very nice and you are still considering themselves as your heroes. shame!!!
Yawar Nov 04, 2012 11:56am
M Khaleeq, you hit the nail on the head. There are many other vices that are part of the culture in Pakistan. Such as rishwat and kundas. But if I can get away by giving or taking rishwat, or using a kunda to get free electricity, or not paying my fair share of taxes, then why would I do otherwise? And if I am engaging in these criminal activities then why should every other Pakistani not do the same?