Rawalpindi, (Parliament Times) : Speakers at an important seminar on “Taxation and National Economy” held here on Sunday stressed the need of strengthening tax culture for economic stability in the country. The present government has taken some commendable initiatives in this direction but much more is still needed to be done including making the lawmakers and bigwigs bound to pay their due taxes honestly.
The seminar was organized by Knight Human Management (KHM) Shalaan Pakistan, an agency working for the protection of rights of overseas Pakistanis. Besides Chief Executive Officer of KHM Khalid Nawa, a large number of small entrepreneurs including M. Afraz ur Rehman, Asad Raza, Saqlain Bokhari, Abuzar Zaidi, Fawad Rasheed, Abdul Hadi, Sikandar Hayat, Hammad Aslam, Abid Hussain, Salma Bashir, Rehan Hameed, Iqbal Hussain,Ali Nawaz and Imran Ch. Attended the seminar. The basic aim of the seminar was to make the participants aware of income and sales tax registration and returns filing, WEBOC registration, company registration, trade mark registration, accounting and other matters pertaining to tax laws.
Khalid Nawaz said that a large number of huge earners including MNAs, Senators and MPAs did not pay due amounts of taxes which also encouraged a layman to steal the taxes. “Tax-to-GDP ratio at 15 percent will prevent the country from borrowing money from external sources and the socio-economic woes could be addressed effectively in the country”, he added. He said that due to unawareness about the tax laws, their application and benefits, a majority of taxable traders and businessmen did not get them registered with FBR owing to fear of tax collectors.
Tax Experts discussed a number of issues which needed to be resolved to widen and strengthen the tax culture. “The tax collection is far below the potential of the economy due to weakness in the machinery of the revenue collection authority but it also signifies the prevailing poor tax culture in the country in which people hate to pay their taxes to the government”, they mentioned. Khalid Nawaz said the shortage of professional tax advisors was needed very badly to build the trust of taxpayers. He added that to make this shortage up, KHM initiated training of young lawyers and highly educated youth in tax advisory so that they can play their role in widening and strengthening the tax collection. He further said that improvement in tax collection could be carried out with consistent efficiency in the system of revenue collection and promoting the culture of tax wherein people voluntarily pay their due share of taxes themselves as responsible citizens. “Professional tax advisors are our need in trade and industry and even in small entrepreneurs to help taxpayers file their returns honestly and shun the doors of corruption in this sector’, he stated. He further mentioned that in order to make the present government’s reforms effective and efficient, it is essential to increase the number of professional tax advisors, which would not only promote a clean and transparent tax culture in our dear homeland but will also help in eliminating unemployment.