THE REAL COST OF NOT PAYING TAXES by Sayem Ali published in the NEWS on Sunday
According to the Pakistan Economic Survey FY12, the total population was 180.7 million and crude birth rate was 2.72. Calculating for infant mortality rate of 69 per 1,000 births shows us that in Pakistan today, 932 children die every 24 hours due to malnutrition and a lack of basic health services
Over 64 percent of the ruling party, PPP’s parliamentarians, including President Zardari himself, don’t file their tax returns. Coalition partners including Asfandyar Wali, Pervez Elahi and over 67 percent of their party members also don’t file their tax returns. Opposition parties are two steps ahead. More than 67 percent of all PML-N parliamentarians don’t file tax returns, setting high standards for other parliamentarians to follow.
According to the CIRP report, Nawaz Sharif paid only Rs5,000 in annual tax for three years, calculated as a tax liability of just Rs417 per month. Filing tax returns is presumably haram for Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his JUI F team – only one out of the six sitting parliamentarians from his party filed tax returns.
Instead of taking these ‘honourable’ parliamentarians to task, the tax authorities are busy issuing apologies and carrying out investigations into how this information was made public. This is absurd. Interestingly, a tax amnesty bill is being rushed through parliament. This bill will allow all those who haven’t filed taxes to ‘whiten’ their undeclared income of up to Rs5 million by paying only Rs40,000 at an implied tax rate of 0.8 percent.
Under the current tax regime, a person earning Rs5 million has a tax liability of Rs0.92 million (approximately 18 percent). So instead of holding themselves accountable, the lawmakers are busy preparing an escape route for themselves and encouraging others to follow suit. It pays to be a tax cheat in Pakistan and parliamentarians across all party lines are leading by example.
If politicians claim themselves as the leaders, they must lead by example…. Tax Evasion is the WORST example. They have NO RIGHT to be chosen again and again
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