ISLAMABAD: Tax collection by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) fell short of the target by almost Rs63 billion in April, mainly due to a drop in domestic taxes and customs duty, provisional figures showed on Tuesday.

The revenue collection in April stood at Rs654bn against a projected target of Rs717bn. It increased by 34.56pc compared with Rs486bn in the corresponding month last year.

These figures would improve after book adjustments are taken into account. The FBR is expecting a Rs3bn to Rs4bn more.

During the first 10 months (July-April) of FY24, the FBR collected Rs7.363 trillion, falling short of the Rs7.425tr target by Rs62bn. As a result, the shortfall was witnessed in February, January, and April 2024.

A top tax officer told Dawn that the shortfall in revenue collection in April was primarily due to Eid holidays. Another factor contributing to the lesser revenue collection during the month under review was the chaos that ensued after senior tax officers were removed from important positions.

According to the official, the shortfalls may be seen this month due to major concerns that arose following the removal of senior officials from important posts based on intelligence agency reports. According to sources, additional reports against other tax officers will be filed in the following days.

The government has projected a revenue collection target of Rs9.415 trillion for FY24, an increase of Rs2.219tr or 30pc from the revised collection of Rs7.2tr in FY23.

The revenue collection at the import stage has started to pick up momentum because of the increase in imports. However, the FBR did not release the figures for sales tax refunds during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.

The government has finalised a digital-based system to broaden the country’s narrow tax base. The schemes also include professional services providers like lawyers, doctors, engineers, and other services providers to tax their income.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2024

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