Tax Evasion, Low Tax Revenue and Non-Compliance in Pakistan: A Focused Group Discussion
Keywords:Non-compliance, Tax evasion, Underground economy, Focus group discussion
The increasing culture of tax evasion and non-compliance leads to revenue losses for governments and impacts both the government and the citizens of a country. This paper uses a focused group discussion method to explore the issues pertinent to the prevailing tax system in Pakistan, such as non-compliance, increasing evasion, and low tax revenue. It is found that education, development of good social values, justice by state institutions, and improvement in the role of media are necessary for nurturing a tax-compliant society. The other causes of a low tax-to-GDP ratio include the cash economy, the underground economy, and the influence of interest groups (lobbyists, feudal, corporate houses, and politicians) on policymaking. This study suggests taxing the high-income class more and redistributing among the poor to attain parity. It is also suggested that efforts be made to introduce the value-added taxation system into the economy and that the federal board of revenue focuses on segmenting the economy/industries to increase revenue collection. Apart from that, they should also reinvest a reasonable percentage of collected tax revenue in the upgradation of tax machinery. However, this study does face some limitations. The major limitation is that despite invitations and our best efforts, the panel of experts did not have representation from women, media, the business community, and participants living outside the city of Islamabad.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Muhammad Omer Farooq Jajja, Arshad Ali Bhatti
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