The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is in a mess on issue of conversion of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) into the National Tax Numbers. In the beginning of February and later in March this year, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced to abolish National Tax Number (NTN) by July 1, 2015 and start using the Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) for all tax purposes and the filing of returns; however, the NTN system would remain intact for companies.
The main objective to adopt this system was to facilitate the taxpayers as well to enable the FBR to trace out anybody with lavish lifestyle but lying outside the ambit of tax net. However, now the FBR is in a state of confusion to implement this announcements made by the Finance Minister due to some certain reasons" a well placed source at FBR told Pakistan Observer here on Thursday. First of all a number of amendments in the concerned act as well as in the system of NADRA will have to be made to convert CNICs into NTNs.
An NTN number indicates the nature of business of every businessman and is mandatory to be displayed at a prominent place in the business center or office, whereas CNIC number is a somewhat private figure of an individual, therefore, it cant be displayed or disclosed to every one. Moreover, there is no slab in the CNIC, which can describe the nature or number of business of any businessman whereas NTN number possesses a number of slabs from where the number of businesses of anyone can be traced out.
Furthermore, CNIC carries no space for up-gradation box and an individual is not required to get the CNIC up graded with the increase of number of businesses, therefore, it is not possible to force anyone to upgrade CNIC and include new businesses in it. On the other hand no one can import or export without having an NTN number.
Similarly, it is not possible for FBR to trace out quantum or nature of business of anyone from the CNIC as well as jurisdiction of the business, whereas NTN number carries the business location as well as business address of the holder.
It is pertinent to note here that using the CNIC as NTN System is in practice in several countries of the world specially, US and others where people get all benefits such as social security as well as deposit their taxes on their CNICs, which are also termed as their tax numbers.
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