Federal Board of Revenue has controverted a news item appearing in certain National Dailies. It has been alleged in the news that FBR has indiscriminately sent SMS messages to large number of persons requiring them to file their returns for the last five years. FBR has clarified that the SMS messages has been sent only to persons who have obtained National Tax Numbers but have not filed their returns of income for the last five tax years.
The Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 28th November, 2013 announced a Tax Incentive Package incorporating various relief measures. One such measure is meant for the NTN holders who have not filed their returns for one or more tax years in the last five tax years i.e, 2008 to 2012. In order to encourage such NTN holders to voluntarily file their missing returns for the last five years they have been exempted from payment of default surcharge on late payment of tax, penalty for late filing of return and audit of the returns. These concessions will be available to those NTN holders who file their return by 28th February, 2014. FBR has initiated an outreach program for educating the eligible sections of the population regarding the availability of the relief package. As an important step of this outreach program FBR identified the names and mobile phone numbers of the NTN holders who have not filed their returns for the last five tax years and sent them SMS messages which constitute a polite reminder for filing their returns by 28th February, 2014, so as to avail the benefits of the concession announced by the Government. The SMS messages sent by the FBR were a reminder to NTN holders to fulfill their legal obligation and at the same time avail of the Special Incentive Package announced by the Prime Minister. Terming the effort of FBR in educating and facilitating the non-filers as harassment and source of panic is highly unjustified and unwarranted.