FBR to Pursue Legal Action Against Telecoms Over Non-Filers' SIMs
FBR to Pursue Legal Action Against Telecoms Over Non-Filers’ SIMs

According to sources, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) intends to pursue legal action against the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and telecom companies (Telcos) for their failure to block SIMs belonging to non-filers. The FBR plans to file a petition in the Islamabad High Court if telecom companies do not comply by May 15, aiming to block SIMs associated with 500,000 non-filers.

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The decision to take legal action follows unsuccessful attempts by the FBR and Ministry of Finance to resolve the issue with telecom companies and the PTA. Despite over 10 days passing since the initial directive, telecom companies have not adhered to orders to block SIMs of non-filers, prompting the FBR to consider legal recourse.

This development arises from the FBR’s issuance of an income tax general order on April 30, instructing authorities to block SIM cards linked to over 506,000 identified non-compliant taxpayers nationwide. However, telecom companies have cited technical and operational challenges as reasons for their inability to comply with the FBR’s directives, claiming legal complexities in their implementation.

The discord between the FBR and telecom companies underscores the ongoing challenges in enforcing tax compliance measures. As the deadline approaches, the FBR remains committed to ensuring that non-filers are held accountable, emphasizing the importance of telecom companies’ cooperation in achieving this objective.

The impending legal action signals a potential escalation in the dispute between tax authorities and telecom operators, highlighting the broader implications for tax administration and regulatory enforcement in Pakistan’s telecommunications sector.

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