March 02 , 2017
Implementation of laws needed to promote tax culture
Jang Economic Session
LAHORE: Implementation of tax laws is essential to promote tax culture. There is a need to change the mindset of the people to check the violation of law.
The accountability and fiscal system should be introduced in the light of Quaid-e-Azam thoughts for which honest and competent political leadership is required.
These views were expressed by experts in the Jang Economic Session on ‘No Tax - No Vote - steps required to promote tax culture’. The panellists were Ansar Javeed, Imran Afzal, Tanveer Sufi, Maqsood Butt, Farhan Shahzad and Raja Hamid Riaz. The session was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.
Ansar Javeed said implementation of the tax laws in letter and spirit was vital to promote tax culture. There is a need to change the mindset of the people as law is violated by everyone, he observed. He believed the tax policy is not related to the ground realities. Transparent system run by professionally-sound officials is required. He said World Bank and IMF had never given any tax collection targets so there is a need to collect tax in accordance with the population.
Imran Afzal said the approach of political leadership is never up to the national requirement as taxpayers are not encouraged from top to bottom in the system. He called for discussions on tax reforms at national level while tax evasion can be discouraged by paying attention to the issues of taxpayers. He said the government should focus on the new taxpayers and give incentives to the existing ones to increase revenue generation. Tanveer Sufi suggested end to taxpaying fear among the public besides making the tax payment system easy and changing tax collectors behaviour. He said tax collection can increase by facilitating the existing taxpayers as tax evaders are secure in Pakistan.
Maqsood Butt said the international financial institutions always asked to make the taxation system justified while black money is growing due to the government policies. He said appointment of the financial experts in the institutions can help to resolve the issues. He called for effective accountability from top to bottom to promote the tax culture. Farhan Shahzad said tax department and policies played vital role in promotion of tax culture while the focus is only on tax collection. He said stakeholders are never taken on board in tax legislation so there is a need to evolve a new tax policy by involving all the stakeholders to promote the tax culture. He called for launching tax awareness campaign across the country.
Raja Hamid Riaz said taxpayers are being victimised in implementing the government’s revenue generation policy. He called for making the taxation system simple for the positive outcome as complications in the laws are affecting the businesses. He demanded discouraging the black money.