The much-awaited Annual Tax Directory for the year 2016 which contains details of all the country’s taxpayers is going to be published soon, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
The last directory was published in 2014, and it generated a lot of headlines about the revealing tax returns of top politicians of the country including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, former president Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and many other bigwigs, triggering a controversy due to the small amounts that they paid to the exchequer.
A well placed source in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has confided in Pakistan Today that the taxpayers’ directory was due to be published in 2015 but was delayed due to some ‘top level political intervention’.
The source added that since the matter has been addressed, the diary is ready to be published. Once published, it will be available on the FBR’s website.
“The directory was then expected to be published before June 30 of this year; however, due to unknown reasons it got delayed,” the source added without elaborating.
The FBR officials are also planning to advise the government to publish the top-100 taxpayers’ list too.
“The top 100 taxpayers’ list was originally a one-time scheme. The first time this list was published was in 2013. The FBR considers it as a successful programme and might put it forward again to the government for consideration soon,” the source added.
The ATD provides exclusive information of all the citizens who file their tax returns with the FBR every year. The directory contains names, national tax numbers (NTM) along with the amounts paid by each taxpayer to the exchequer.
The publication of this directory, at this critical juncture, according to political analysts, is quite important with reference to the criticism and ongoing movement against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of Panama Leaks revelations.
In 2014, the directory, for the first time, disclosed the tax details of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who also heads the ruling PML-N. He paid Rs 2,646,401 in tax for the year 2013.