FBR to Block 5000 SIM Cards of Tax Evaders Daily

In a significant development for Pakistan’s tax collection efforts, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and telecom operators have finally decided to block the mobile SIM cards of individuals who haven’t filed their income taxes. This move targets non-filers for tax year 2023, with the aim of increasing tax revenue collection.

The FBR has started sharing information with telecom companies. The initial batch includes details of 5,000 non-filers, whose SIM cards will be blocked. FBR will provide additional lists on a daily basis. Importantly, telecom operators have agreed to a gradual approach, manually blocking SIM cards in small batches. This will likely help minimize any disruptions for mobile phone users.

FBR to Block 5000 SIM Cards of Tax Evaders Daily

This agreement comes after earlier discussions between FBR and telecom companies reached an impasse. Cellular Mobile Companies (CMCs) had reservations about blocking such a large number of SIM cards (over 506,000) citing technical and operational challenges. Legal complexities were also mentioned as a concern by CMCs.

The FBR’s initiative stems from its authority under the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, Section 114B. Issuing a general order on April 30th, 2024, the FBR called for blocking SIM cards of identified non-filers. Additionally, telecom operators have begun sending warning messages to non-filers, urging them to file their tax returns to avoid SIM blockage.

The FBR believes this measure will encourage individuals to comply with tax filing requirements. A larger tax base translates to increased revenue for the government. The government will use it for public services and infrastructure development.

While the initial blocking process is manual, reports suggest that an automated system is being developed to streamline future actions. The success of this initiative will depend on its effectiveness and user experience. If the blocking process is smooth and non-disruptive for compliant users, it can be a significant step towards improving tax collection in Pakistan.

See Also: PTA Refuses to Follow FBR’s SIM Blocking Order: Here’s Why?

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Onsa Mustafa

Onsa is a Software Engineer and a tech blogger who focuses on providing the latest information regarding the innovations happening in the IT world. She likes reading, photography, travelling and exploring nature.

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