Tax authorities say defaulters’ bank accounts will remain frozenDespite adopting measures last year, many are yet to clear their dues.
Despite the authorities adopting measures last fiscal year to recover outstanding tax from defaulters, bank accounts of a number of taxpayers continue to remain frozen.
Tax authorities had frozen bank accounts of around 5,000 taxpayers, mostly contractors. They had barred a number of businessmen from continuing their export and import businesses while some of them were restricted from travelling abroad. It was the first time bank accounts of taxpayers had been frozen in huge numbers for defaulting on tax.
“Although these measures were initiated to recover the tax to meet the revenue targets last fiscal year, we have continued the pressure on them to pay the dues this fiscal as well,” said a senior official at the Inland Revenue Department requesting anonymity. “Their accounts can be unfrozen only after they clear their dues.”
Authorities had taken the measure to recover taxes at a time when the government was struggling to meet the revenue targets in the fiscal year 2018-19.
Tax offices had recovered outstanding taxes from those who had dues of over Rs500,000 initially. They later reduced the threshold to Rs100,000.
According to officials, a majority of the defaulters were contractors. Contractors had complained that many of them had become victims for being a silent partner in joint venture companies when active partner failed to pay the dues. The tax offices had frozen bank accounts of both active and silent partners.
According to the revenue department, it collected around Rs 10 billion in outstanding dues last fiscal year.
Since April, the tax offices had intensified efforts to recover tax dues amounting to Rs80 billion by publishing the names of the defaulting taxpayers.