ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government’s talk of bringing all members of parliament into the tax net has failed to produce any noticeable results as 167 legislators did not file their income tax returns on a voluntary basis in the tax year 2016.
A similar trend was observed since the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued the first tax directory for 2013, followed by the two subsequent years. However, in the directory for 2016 the situation has deteriorated.
Under the Income Tax Ordinance, filing of returns is mandatory for all those who possess a 1,000cc car, a plot of 250 square yards or a 2,000-square-foot apartment in the area of any municipal corporation. By this definition, it apparently was the liability of all parliamentarians to file tax returns.
According to FBR spokesman Dr Muhammad Iqbal, former finance minister Ishaq Dar had given a month to all the legislators to file their returns. “We will issue notices to them in case they do not file their tax returns,” the spokesman told Dawn.
He said that tax was also deducted at source from the salaries of the legislators. However, he was not aware whether the lawmakers who did not file the returns were on the tax roll.
The question of whether the non-filers have paid the tax will become clear when they submit their returns.
The minimum penalty for not filing returns and wealth statements is Rs5,000 fine and it can be as high as 25 per cent of the tax payable in a year. The non-filer has to declare his total income for assessment or a tax official declares it ex parte.
According to the tax directory, 12 senators did not file their tax returns for 2016 — Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo and Gul Bashra from Balochistan; Ahmed Hassan, Attaur Rehman, Samina Abid and Zahida Khan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Maulana Tanveerul Haq Thanvi and Taj Haider from Sindh and Aurangzeb Khan, Hilalur Rehman, Malik Najmul Hassan and Muhammad Saleh Shah from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
Four of the eight senators from Fata were non-filers.
Of the 45 members of the National Assembly (MNAs) who did not file their tax returns, 17 were from KP — Engineer Hamidul Haq Khalil, Gulzar Khan, Siraj Muhammad Khan, Aqibullah, Shehryar Afridi, Nasir Khan Khattak, retired Capt Muhammad Safdar, Sar Zamin Khan, Engineer Dawar Khan Kundi, Akram Khan Durrani, retired Col Amirullah Marwat, Sher Akbar Khan, Iftikharud Din, Junaid Akbar and three women on reserved seats: Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak, Sajida Begum and Begum Tahira Bukhari.
Four MNAs from Fata were on the tax rolls but did not file their returns — namely Bilal Rehman, Sajid Hussain Turi, Muhammad Nazir Khan and Muhammad Jamalud Din.
The 13 MNAs from Punjab who did not file their tax returns were Nawabzada Raja Matloob Mehdi, Dr Nisar Ahmad Jatt, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan, Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal, Chaudhry Abid Raza, Mumtaz Ahmad Tarar, Shazia Mubashar, Salman Hanif, Malik Abdul Ghaffar Dogar, Rana Muhammad Qasim Noon, Alam Dad Laleka and two women on reserves seats — Shazia Sohail Mir and Sabiha Nazir.
Six MNAs from Sindh who did not file their returns were Mehboob Alam, Muhammad Kamal Malik, Shahjahan Baloch, Musarat Rafique Mahesar, Shahida Rehmani and Shazia Sobia.
Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani was the lone MNA from Balochistan who did not file the returns.
As many as 110 members of the provincial assemblies did not file their tax returns.
From the Balochistan assembly eight members did not file the returns — namely Khalilur Rehman, Mir Abdul Majid Abro, Mir Izhar Hussain Khosa, Rahat Jamali, Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Shama Ishaq, Anita Irfan and former chief minister Abdul Malik Baloch.
In the KP Assembly, 36 MPAs did not file their returns, including Javed Nasim, Arbab Akbar Hayat, Arbab Jehandad Khan, Sultan Muhammad Khan, Arshad Ali, Khalid Khan, Tufail Anjum, Ziaullah Khan Bangash, Gul Sahib Khan, Mufti Said Janan, Sardar Mohammad Idress, Mian Ziaur Rehman, Muhammad Usmatullah, Abdul Sattar Khan, Ali Amin Khan, Sami Ullah, Javed Akbar Khan, Fakher Azam Wazir, Habibur Rahman, Maulana Mufti Fazal Ghafoor, Fazal Hakim, Amjad Ali, Mahmood Khan, Qaimos Khan, Muhammad Rashad Khan, Abdul Munim, Ghulam Muhammad, Behram Khan, Nadia Sher, Maliha Tanveer, Romana Jalil, Sobia Shahid and Soran Singh.
KP Finance Minister Muzaffar Said was also among the non-filers. The 44 non-filer MPAs in Punjab included Muhammad Siddique Khan, Asif Mehmood, Malik Muhammad Zahoor Anwer, Ghazanfar Abbas Cheena, Naeemullah Gill, Rashida Yaqoob, Chaudhry Shabir Ahmed, Chaudhry Mohsin Ashraf, Majid Zahoor, Chaudhry Yaseen Sohail, Malik Ghulam Habib Awan, Muhammad Khurram Gulfam, Muhammad Kashif, Jamil Hassan Khan, Malak Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Waqas Hassan Mokal, Sardar Muhammad Asif Nakai, Chaudry Iftikhar Hussain Chachar, Ali Abbas, Malik Sajjad Hussain Joiya, Sardar Meer Badsha Khan Qaisraani, Malik Ahmad Yar Hunjra, Muhammad Zishan Gurmani, Malik Ghulam Murtaza Raheem Khar and Muhammad Imran Qureshi. Women MPAs on reserved seats Kiran Imran, Kanwal Nauman, Farah Manzoor, Saira Iftikhar, Kaneez Akhtar, Tehseen Fawad, Salma Shaheen Butt, Shamim Akhtar alias Shahazadi Kabir, Iram Hassan Bajwa, Zebun Nisa Awan and Shazia Kamran were also non-filers.
From the Sindh Assembly, there were 22 non-filers, including Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh, Sardar Muhammad Muqueem Khan Khoso, Imdad Ali Pitafi, Mir Allah Bux Talpur, Faraz Dero, Mohammad Yousuf Shahwani, Khalid bin Vilayat, Saniya, Muhammad Kamran, Irfanullah Khan Marwat and Dr Sagheer Ahmed. Khairunnisa, Shamim Mumtaz, Ghazala Siyal, Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani, Saira Shahliani, Heer Soho, Naheed Begum, Shazia Jawaid, Irum Azeem Farooque, Soorath and Ponjo Bheel, who were elected on reserved seats, also did not file their returns.
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2017