FBR has blocked over 105,000 mobile SIMs of non-filers
ISLAMABAD: (Suno News) The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has blocked 105,000 mobile phone SIMs of the consumers who have failed to file their tax returns for 2023.

The FBR confirmed that 105,000 SIMs of non-filers had been blocked. The board provides 5,000 non-filers’ data daily to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for the purpose.

Sources said that the non-filers could have their SIMs restored after filing their income tax returns.

They said that so far a total of 18,902 SIMs had been reactivated after the individuals filed their tax returns  and were included in the list of active taxpayers.

The FBR has taken decisive action against taxpayers who are not fulfilling their obligations and warned them of the consequences, including a SIM card blockade at any time if the individuals fail to file their tax returns.

The FBR earlier released a comprehensive list of 506,671 non-filers. As a penalty, their mobile phone SIMs are being blocked.

Also read: IHC stays govt’s move to block non-filers’ mobile SIMs

The decision was issued in an Income Tax General Order (ITGO) no 01 of 2024, which said that the mobile SIMs for these individuals will stay blocked until restored by the FBR or the Commissioner Inland Revenue having authority over the person.

As per the FBR, the PTA and all telecom providers must immediately comply with this ITGO.

The FBR identified 2.4 million potential taxpayers who did not exist on the tax rolls. Notices were subsequently issued to these individuals. It selected over 0.5 million individuals out of the 2.4 million for SIM blockade based on one criterion: they must have declared taxable income in one of the past three years and these individuals did not file their returns for tax year 2023.

Until March 1, 2024 the FBR received 4.2m taxpayers as against 3.8m returns received over the corresponding period of last year according to the Active Taxpayers List (ATL). In tax year 2022, FBR received a total of 5.9m income tax returns.

According to the FBR official, SIMs will be automatically restored for persons who file tax returns for 2023. Every Monday, FBR updates its ATL listings. Every Tuesday, the names of persons who appear on the ATL list will be identified and submitted to the PTA and telecom companies for restoration. The officer emphasised that there would be no separate restoration procedures, and the entire process would be completed automatically.