Govt increases tax on mobile phone recharge

WHT on mobile recharge increases to 15pc

ISLAMABAD: The government has increased the tax on each mobile balance recharge and telecom companies have been informing their users about charging a 15 per cent withholding tax on recharge of the mobile balance.

According to sources, the government has increased withholding tax (WHT) from 10 percent to 15pc and the telecom companies through text messages have been informing their respective users about an increase in WHT of Rs 13.04 on recharge/reload of every card costing Rs100.

Announcing to levy additional tax, telecom companies have made it clear in their text messages to their users that from now, on a recharge of balance Rs100, the consumers will get a balance of Rs86.95, sources told Pakistan Today.

Sources in the telecom industry said that the government by increasing WHT from 10pc to 15pc will earn a revenue of approximately Rs 43 billion a year.

The Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) are deducting only Withholding tax and General Sales Tax on the pre-paid recharge/reload.

As per details, total government taxes on recharge of Rs 100 is Rs 27.23 as GST @ 19.5pc is Rs 14.19 and WHT @ 15% is Rs 13.04.

On the recharge of Rs. 100, balance provided to the user is Rs. 86.95 after deduction of Rs. 13.04 against withholding tax @ 15% while balance with customer for usage (excluding WHT, [email protected] 19.5pc) will be Rs 72.76.

GST @19.5% is applied on per call, SMS, and data usage basis. When a user consumes its remaining balance of Rs. 86.95, a total of Rs. 14.19 as GST is charged.

Furthermore, PTA had already fixed a ceiling on call setup charges @ Rs. 0.15 per call.

An official of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) when contacted said that PTA is vigilant about the rates and tariffs being charged by Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) and action will be initiated on any reported incidence of charging above the published tariffs and applicable taxes in accordance with the law.

Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]

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