Home » Out of 11,252 users with blocked SIMs, 7,167 file tax returns to get SIMs unblocked

Out of 11,252 users with blocked SIMs, 7,167 file tax returns to get SIMs unblocked

by Haroon Amin
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Telecom operators have unblocked as many as 7,167 SIMs, calling it a positive development, days after Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said that more than 11,252 SIMs had been blocked over non-payment of their tax returns.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has so far blocked 11,252 SIMs of non-filers and announced that the process would continue.

“So far, the data of 65,000 non-filers has been shared with telecommunication companies,” the sources said, noting that a list of more than 500,000 people has been compiled.

More than 11,000 SIMs of non-filers have been stopped by the Federal Board of collection (FBR) as part of its efforts to increase tax collection and encourage documentation.

A representative for the FBR stated that the board met with the cellular providers and told them of the decision to disable the SIMs.

Sources claim that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has disassociated itself from SIM banning.

According to sources, two telecom firms have disabled almost 3,500 SIM cards belonging to non-filers. Numerous SIMs totaling thousands have also been disabled.

Read more:  Fbr Records 340.5% Surge In Tax Collection From Immovable Properties In Fy23

Citizens who file a refund will have their SIMs restored right away.

A spokesman for the FBR said that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had granted an injunction to one telecom company.

IHC grants approval:

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq of the Islamabad High Court had earlier stated that while the court did not prevent authorities from disconnecting SIMs, it did prevent them from pursuing legal action against a private corporation.

A petition against an injunction to suspend legal proceedings against a private company relating to SIM blockade was heard by the IHC.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC said that the media did not accurately report court proceedings. According to him, the court did not forbid blocking non-tax filers’ SIMs.

FBR overview:

More than 500,000 non-filers’ SIM cards were previously blocked by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). To bring the idea to reality, it released the Income Tax General Order.

According to the FBR, it has identified the individuals whose income tax returns were missing.

According to the statement, “They are not filing returns and as a result they are not included in the FBR Active Tax Payers List, even though they are able to pay income tax.”

The FBR states that anyone whose income tax returns have not been filed may have their mobile phone connections terminated at any time.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority was asked to provide a comprehensive report by the organisation. In contrast, the PTA objected to the action and filed a legal challenge. Additionally, telecom companies contested it, claiming that it was an unjust action that would put them in financial jeopardy.

According to sources, the first stage consisted of a list of 500,000 people, which was finalised following extensive negotiations with the FBR, the PTA, and the mobile phone providers.

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