I AM a senior citizen — in fact a septuagenarian — and have been paying income tax regularly for the last several years. I was surprised to receive a notice from Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) dated May 20 through courier on May 25, asking me to submit documentary proof of ‘source of income’ before May 31 for the tax year 2015.

This practically meant that I was required to submit my source of income from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, and I had all of one week to do all this.

I really wonder how and why FBR is taking up cases that happen to be seven years old. It only goes to show the amount of backlog the FBR machinery must be dealing with.

Further, from my CNIC the FBR officials could see that the person they are ‘investigating’ is well past 70 years of age and cannot run around to gather such ‘ancient’ details within a week.

Further, my entire income is declared and all sorts of taxes are deducted at source.

While I fully understand and appreciate that the FBR needs to act proactively to ensure it collects adequate taxes, it should also realise that asking for information as dated as seven years is something not practical, and it does not reflect well on the efficiency of the taxation machinery.

I believe there are nearly 2.5 million taxpayers in Pakistan as against a population of over 220 million.

To collect taxes, FBR should broaden the tax base instead of probing regular taxpayers.

Name with held on request
Karachi

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2021

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