Tax Authorities exert more pressure on media

The tax authorities have exerted further pressure on media to keep their voices shut against the proposed tax amnesty scheme, and threatened to make public portfolios of people who whitened their money taking advantage of the previous tax amnesty scheme.
It may be mentioned here that one of the media houses whitened Rs3.0 billion through the previous tax amnesty scheme.
Further, the leading anchor-persons and media personalities were paying just 6.0 percent (Services Tax) despite the fact that annual salary incomes fell in income tax and in higher slabs. Salary incomes of some of these news-media celebrities were in the income tax slab of 25 percent tax.
As many as 15 anchor-persons and media houses have already been issued notices highlighting serious discrepancies in their tax records.
The amnesty scheme presently tabled before the upper house the Senate for debate and there were reports that most of the members had opposed the proposed plan of the government.
Earlier, the PM had approved the proposed amnesty scheme for giving an opportunity to tax dodgers for whitening their black money.
It may be mentioned here that Chairman FBR, Ali Arshad Hakim has said that meeting the revenue collection target widely depended on the tax amnesty scheme. The FBR chairman reportedly said that the proposed scheme would yield about Rs100 billion, which would help the revenue body to achieve Rs2381 billion collection target in FY13.
The amnesty scheme was conceived during last September and a draft was prepared by early October 2012. Uproar was seen in the media just after leakage of reports about the amnesty scheme, which was silenced through notices besides giving high priced advertisement on the electronic media as well as print media.
The FBR advertised widely during this period about displaying the NTN at business premises, which was already mandatory in the law. “It is kind of bribe,” many of tax officials commented.

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