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ISLAMABAD, March 21: The Federal Board of Revenue on Monday launched the much-awaited drive against the non-filers of income tax returns by issuing more than 1,700 notices to people having a lavish lifestyle but contributing nothing to the government’s kitty, it is learnt.

The drive aimed at sending notices to almost 700,000 people, who were identified having tangible assets, including houses in the posh areas of big cities.

A senior tax official told Dawn on Monday that analysis of the data reveals that one person alone imported 200 cars in one year but paid a very nominal tax. There are so many cases of other such wealthy non-filers.

FBR official spokesperson Riffat Shaheen confirmed to Dawn that these notices were issued on Monday and the rest will be completed in the next few days. She said that all these people receiving notices would be required to submit provisional assessment within a period of one month.

A source in the FBR said that alone 210 rich people were identified through tracker software in Lahore and other cities of Punjab who have owned millions worth property and other assets but evaded to file returns or understated their incomes.

“We have enough data regarding assets of the rich people across Pakistan”, the official said.

All the notices were sent to the 18 regional tax offices (RTOs) across the country, which will be dispatched at the houses of identified people, the official said.

The tax official, however, admitted that the drive will not yield any revenue for the tax department in the current fiscal year. The revenue from these potential taxpayers will be raised in the next fiscal year by bringing them into the tax net, the official added.

As per plan, the government has appointed 18 tax broadening officers (TBOs) each at every RTO across the country. These officers will specifically deal with the identified people by assessing their assets and would carry out provisional assessments of their returns.

The whole process will be completed in a period of three years by TBOs, who will be then transferred to the relevant regions for making new assessees part of regular taxpayers, the official added.

In the second phase, these officers will be transferred to the proposed investigation and audit departments of the Inland Revenue, which will perform similar functions like the customs intelligence department.