FBR launches tax drive against designers, other high net worth individuals

Updated Feb 20 2020

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The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has  launched a tax enforcement drive against dress designers and other high net worth individuals, FBR spokesperson Dr Hamid Ateeq confirmed on Thursday. — AFP/File
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has launched a tax enforcement drive against dress designers and other high net worth individuals, FBR spokesperson Dr Hamid Ateeq confirmed on Thursday. — AFP/File

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has launched a tax enforcement drive against high-end fashion designers and other high net worth individuals, FBR spokesperson Dr Hamid Ateeq confirmed to Dawn.com on Thursday.

"FBR has started a drive against high net worth individuals who are either not on tax rolls or are not paying their due taxes, and field formations have been asked to carry out profiling of such cases. The major classes in focus are high-end dress designers, beauticians and stylists, photographers, artists, doctors etc," Ateeq said.

On Wednesday, a notification of the tax department started circulating on social media. According to the notification, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the FBR in a survey for new taxpayers found that "high-end dress designers while charging exorbitant amounts for a single dress pay only a meagre amount in taxes". The notification mentions that FBR has identified 24 designers.

"When their income tax returns were analysed, it was found that their declared income does not commensurate with their receipts. Some of them are not even on tax rolls."

However, Ateeq said that the tax department is making sure that potential taxpayers are not harassed during the process.

"Field formations have been instructed to avoid direct contact with potential taxpayers and do their work through data mining and market information. A cell in the office member operations is monitoring the activity to forestall any chance of harassment of taxpayers," he added.

In December, the FBR had launched a major tax documentation drive to bring 17,000 big retailers located in luxurious shopping malls, retail chains and stores situated on 1,000 square feet or above across the country into the tax net.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had in December had tasked the tax body to come up with a detailed plan for a nationwide tax assessment and documentation drive to bring affluent people and untapped sectors into the net.