How to Become a Filer and Be Included in the Federal Board of Revenue's (Fbr's) Income Tax Active Taxpayers List

Updated on June 27, 2018
firdousi0 profile image

Fassee Ullah is a Corporate and Tax Consultant in Lahore, Pakistan.

Benefits to Expatriate / Non-Resident Pakistanis of Becoming a Filer - Active Taxpayers List

Why it is important for expatriate Pakistanis to file their income tax return in Pakistan

Expatriate Pakistanis often invest in real estate, stock exchange, saving schemes, mutual funds, and prize bonds. They also purchase vehicles and immovable properties. In order to make investments they also have to open an account and make certain transactions.

As per tax laws in Pakistan, any person who purchases a plot, house or vehicle has to pay double the amount of income tax at the time of purchase if he is not a “filer.”

A "filer" is a person whose name exists on the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) updated by the FBR on every Monday. The Active Taxpayers List is updated on the basis of income tax returns filed by the taxpayers. For example, if you file your tax return for tax year 2016 on Tuesday, your name will be included in the Active Taxpayers’ List on the following Monday. The list of active taxpayers is updated by FBR on Monday. There are complaints that banks' data is not updated until Tuesday, which is quite unfair.

So if you file your tax return, even if you are an expatriate/non-resident, you will receive the benefits of a filer and the tax will be reduced by more than 50%. For example, if you buy a plot valued at Rs.8.00 million, you will have to pay tax of Rs.320,000 if you have not filed your tax return, but if you are a filer, you have to pay just Rs.160,000. Similarly, on the purchase of a vehicle, the tax for a non-filer is double that paid by a filer.

The other big loss associated with non-filing of a return is that you have lost your claim of refund, as the taxes deducted on purchase of vehicle and immovable properties, in most of the cases, are adjustable. If you are a non-resident Pakistani, you are not liable to pay any tax on your income earned abroad. This means that while filing the return you can claim refund of tax paid on properties/vehicles.

As per tax laws in Pakistan, every owner of a plot measuring more than 500 square yard or owner of a property is required to file his tax return. If you have not filed your tax return, \you have violated the Pakistan tax laws.

Pakistan has double taxation avoidance treaties with many countries, which, in many cases, provide options for the persons to pay taxes in either of the countries. Tax rates in Europe and America are far higher than Pakistan's, so if you opt to pay taxes as per Pakistan Tax Laws, you may get a tax benefit.

The Concept of Filer and Non-Filer Taxpayer in Pakistan

The primary condition for becoming a filer, under Pakistan's Income Tax Ordinance 2001, is that the taxpayer’s name should appear in the “Active Taxpayers List”. Section 2(23A) of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 reads:

“Filer” means a taxpayer whose name appears in the active taxpayers’ list issued by the Board from time to time or is holder of a taxpayer’s card.”

This means that only taxpayers whose names appear in the Active Taxpayers List are considered "filers."

The Active Taxpayers List (ATL) is prepared by the Federal Board of Revenue and uploaded on the official website of the Federal Board of Revenue. Anyone can download the ATL from the following link:

http://www.fbr.gov.pk/ActiveTaxpayersList.aspx

Formerly, the Active Taxpayers List was updated on the 15th of every month. However, considering the problems faced by taxpayers, the Active Taxpayers List is updated weekly. At 12.00 every Sunday the list is updated and uploaded the next morning on Monday.

All banks, government departments and other withholding agents download the said list on a weekly basis and treat taxpayers as ‘filers’ and ‘non-filers’ according to this list.

How to Know That You Are a Filer and Your Name is on the Active Taxpayers List (ATL)

You can check whether you are a filer or non-filer by:

a. Downloading the list from the FBR website

b. Typing ATL and after one space your CNIC No. (without dashes) and sending it to 9966. In a minute you will receive a message from 9966 that your name is that of an active taxpayer. For example write "ATL 3520211111111".

c. Visiting the official website of e.fbr.gov.pk and from "Search Taxpayers" tab selecting "Active Taxpayers(IT)". In the new window type your CNIC No. and the image and press the button "Submit". You will know your status.

Active Taxpayer(IT)

A.t.l.

How to Become an Active Taxpayer and Filer

If you want your name and NTN/CNIC to appear in the Active Taxpayer List, you have to submit your last income tax returns. Persons who have not submitted their returns for tax year 2014 have been dropped from the list. However, if they file their return, their name should appear on the Active Taxpayers List uploaded on the website of the Federal Board of Revenue on the appropriate morning.

If you file your return on Saturday, September 19, 2015 for tax year 2015 by using the online facility of FBR, your name will appear in the version of the Active Taxpayers List available on the FBR’s website on Monday, September 21, 2015. Those who file manual returns always find themselves in trouble. Submitting the return online is easier and more convenient.

This is the position that is available in the statute book. However, there are many cases where taxpayers who filed income tax returns manually for tax year 2014 well within the time limit, did not have their names appear on the Active Taxpayers list. They were not legally required to submit the return online. The Federal Board of Revenue should take necessary action to address this grievance of bona fide taxpayers.

Tax Adviser

Disadvantages of Being a Non-Active Taxpayer and Non-Filer

If your name appears in the active taxpayers list, you will be treated as a ‘filer’ and pay lower withholding taxes. Some specific advantages are given below:

  1. You will not be subjected to the withholding tax of 0.3% on all banking transactions (which will be 0.6% after 30.09.2015). This tax is different from the tax mentioned in No.5 below.
  2. You pay 50% less tax on the purchase of vehicles and immovable properties.
  3. You pay 50% less token tax.
  4. On dividends, filers are charged tax @ 10% and non-filers @ 15%.
  5. On cash withdrawals of more than Rs.50,000, the rate for filers is 0.3% and for non-filers 0.4%.
  6. On winning a prize or prize bonds you have to pay more tax if you are a non-filer and not an active taxpayer.

Taxpayers should file their returns well within the statutory time period so as to avoid any penal action, as there are heavy penalties for non-filing or late filing of return. It may be noted that in case of late filing the penalty is equal to 0.1% of the tax payable for each day of default subject to a maximum penalty of 50% of the tax payable, provided that if the penalty worked out as aforesaid is less than twenty thousand rupees, or no tax is payable for that tax year, such person shall pay a penalty of twenty thousand rupees. This means that the minimum penalty is Rs. 20,000.

File your Tax Return in time

Easy Steps to become income tax filer (Active Taxpayer)

In order to become a filer and included in the active taxpayers list (ATL) New Persons, who have no NTN are required to check whether they are NTN holder or not? It may not be surprising that you may not have ever applied for NTN but still the FBR system shows that you are a registered taxpayer as the FBR often obtain data from different organizations and allot NTN to the persons on their on. For this purpose please visit the following website and mention your CNIC No. to know the factual position:

https://e.fbr.gov.pk/Registration/onlinesearchTaxpayer.aspx

2. If you don't have the NTN then visit: https://iris.fbr.gov.pk/infosys/public/txplogin.xhtml

and get yourself registered under Registration for Unregistered Person.

Fill in the simple form and after due process login to the iris system.

3. You will find "Registration Form" in Draft folder. Complete the form and then submit the same. You will get your NTN in an hour or so.

4. After getting the NTN you will have to submit your tax return for tax year 2017 to become a filer.

5. For persons already having NTN but no username password of IRIS system are required to obtain the same by clicking on the link:

"E-Enrollment for Registered Person"

6. After obtaining the username password you will be able to submit your tax return for 2017 and you will be filer on the next coming Monday. This means that if you have filed your return on 8th March 2018 (Thursday), you will be filer as per FBR data by 12th March 2018 (Monday). However, the Banks update their list on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The FBR should expedite this system of declaring the taxpayers active on day to day basis to prevent inconvenience caused to their clients.

How to become a filer

Source

Common Queries from Persons Wanting to Become Filers/Active Taxpayers

1. Can a government official having income less than Rs.400,0000 become a filer?

Answer: Yes, of course. A Government official whose income is less than the taxable limit can also become filer.

2. Can a salaried person who did not have an NTN number after the 2018 budget become a filer?

What would be the status of a salaried person who was paying tax from his salary but did not have an NTN number after budget 2018, when the threshold is increased to Rs.1,200,000. Now how he can become a filer?

Answer

In Budget 2018 the Government has increased the taxable limit from Rs.400,000 to Rs.1,200,000. This amendment in Income Tax Law is applicable on the income earned after 01.07.2018. This means, for tax year 2018 the limit for taxable income is Rs.400,000 and it will be Rs.1,200,000 at the time of filing of return for 2019. Whatever your income is, you can file a tax return. Even a person having no source of income in Pakistan can file tax return. Such house wives and expatriate Pakistanis file their return to get the benefits of a filer.

A person who is earning below the taxable limit income can file a return. For example if your return is Rs.360,000 you can file a return declaring income of Rs.360,000 without payment of any taxes.

3. What are the initial requirements for starting the process of filing your return?

Answer: Filing a tax return is a cumbersome job. You may wish to acquire services of a professional like us. A professional will need the following details/data to make you a filer:

  • Scanned copy of your CNIC
  • A cell No. of any Pakistani network. It is not necessary that the No. is in your name. It may be a No. of your family member of your friend (Not used before for getting NTN).
  • Total salary earned during the period 01.07.2016 to 30.06.2017.
  • Your bank statement/(s) for the period 01.07.2016 to 30.06.2017
  • Certificates from your bank branches indicating the tax deductions they made during 01.07.2016 to 30.6.2017.
  • Details of assets, owned by you as on 30.06.2017 e.g. value of shares, purchase cost of properties and vehicles etc.

4. How long does it take to become a filer?

Answer The Active Taxpayers List (ATL) is updated every Monday. So if you want to become a filer, file or get your return filed prior to 12.00 P.M. Sunday.



Comments

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    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      7 days ago from Pakistan

      We can help u to become a filer. Please call me for further details:

      03454258240

    • profile image

      Imran 

      7 days ago

      I was student and completed my degree last year and started job from 1st august 2018. My father bought a motor byce fro me and now I went to excise office to register it on my name. But they said I need to be a filer first to register it. I need to know what is the process and requirement for me to become a filer and how much time it will take. Please guide ASAP as I need to register the byc in the coming week.

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      8 days ago from Pakistan

      No problem if you have no other source of income except agricultural income. You have to get yourself register with FBR and declare agriculture income, which is exempt from income tax. We can help you to be filer without any problem. You may call me for further assistance. My cell No. is 03454258240. This also my whatsapp No.

    • profile image

      Javed 

      8 days ago

      how a landlord be a filer having no other income other than agricultural

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      12 days ago from Pakistan

      Dear Muhammad Shafiq

      You have to file your tax return for 2016-2017 to become an active taxpayer.

    • profile image

      Muhammad Shafiq 

      12 days ago

      I am a retired Government officer retired from government service in June 2017. Although I am a tex payer but have not active profile. My annual income in 2017-18 was more that 700,000. How I could be an active tax filer.

    • profile image

      Ali Khan 

      3 weeks ago

      I am getting an error "You have registered for filing tax amnesty deceleration only.if you like to perform another task such as income tax return certificate you need to either file amnesty deceleration first or file registration modification"

      Can anybody let me know what to do next to file registration modification

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      3 weeks ago from Pakistan

      Dear Rashid,

      To become a filer you have to file your return for 01/07/2016 to 30.06.2017. Tax return for 01.07.2017 to 30.06.2018 cannot be submitted right now.

    • profile image

      Hassan 

      3 weeks ago

      Can you please quickly clarify one thing. If someone who has assets which were purchased say in year 2011 wants to become a filer now by filing for the 2017-2018 Tax Year. How will this be reconciled? Since the income for this year alone ofcourse won't cover all those assets which were purchased years ago?

      Since FBR portal doesn't let you submit unless the data is reconciled.

    • profile image

      Rashid 

      3 weeks ago

      Sir to become a filer should we have to file last two year return or only 1-07-2017 to 30-06-2018 return is enough to become a filer

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      4 weeks ago from Pakistan

      Dear Mr. M. Hussain

      The plot should be shown in your brothers wealth statement. Acquisition value should be shown. We also claim credit of tax deducted, if any, at the time of purchase of the said plot.

    • profile image

      M Hussain 

      4 weeks ago

      Salam,

      I am a non-resident Pakistani and I have purchased a plot under the name of my younger brother in Pakistan some years back.

      In whose return it should show, in my return or my brother's return?

      Should we put acquisition price or the market value?

      Your kind advise needed.

    • profile image

      Asrar ul Haq Fassee Ullah Imran 

      4 weeks ago

      No. They are not right. The ATL is continued to be updated on weekly basis.

    • profile image

      Tasawar 

      4 weeks ago

      Sir, somebody told me that ATL is now updated 23 June 2018. So now it will not be on weekly basis?

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      5 weeks ago from Pakistan

      You have to pay Rs.660,000 as income tax on transferring the amount of Rs.11 million but if you are filer, you have to pay half of the amount. Even otherwise, in case you intend to buy any property you have to become a filer. For this we charge very nominal amount and help the non resident brothers to become filer. You may contact me for further guidance via my whatsapp No.03454258240

    • profile image

      kashif 

      5 weeks ago

      sir i want to buy a property in pakistan how it is costing me 115 lac rs mes 11 mn.... i want to send money visa legal banking way to pakistan how much tax do i have to pay to bank while withdrawing 1 crore from bank as i am planning to open account in bank and then transfer via online source

      kindly reply

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      5 weeks ago from Pakistan

      Mr. Tanveer Malik,

      It is not necessary for you to have NTN. But if you intend to buy any property or vehicle or have banking transactions to transfer for money to Pakistan, you have to be a filer. This means, first, you have to obtain your NTN and then file your tax return. For any further query you may contact me via whatsapp No.03454258240

    • profile image

      tanweer malik 

      5 weeks ago

      i am working abroad i have no NTN in pakistan. is it mandatory for me to get it or not.

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      5 weeks ago from Pakistan

      Foreign income is exempt in Pakistan. If a return is filed, such income can be declared as exempt income. For any query you may contact me via my whatsapp No.0345-4258240

    • profile image

      mrabdussalam 

      6 weeks ago

      What are the rules for freelancers providing digital services to foreign clients? How does that affect when a person is non resident?

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      Joraid Ali 

      6 weeks ago

      What is the ratio to be filer?

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      7 weeks ago from Pakistan

      Mr. Wajid you may contact me for advice. My cell No. is 0332-4112278

    • profile image

      Wajid Ullah 

      7 weeks ago

      Person not pakistani National but purchased Plots in Pakistan.What is tax treatment for such person in Pakistan?

    • profile image

      Asrar Ul Haq Fassee Ullah Imran 

      2 months ago

      Yes. Such person can also become a filer. Even a person having no source of income can become a filer.

    • profile image

      Mrs Kashif 

      2 months ago

      can a person who does not pay taxes (being low income / house wife) can become a filer

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      2 months ago from Pakistan

      Dear Zeeshan

      To get the verification code on your phone and email, the SIM should be in your name and the Cell No. should be one of the Mobile networks of Pakistan. It appears that the number you mention is not in your name. For further guidance you may contact me vial email firdousi0@yahoo.com and Cell No.0345-4258240

    • profile image

      zeeshan 

      2 months ago

      The registration form does not send OTP neither through SMS nor through Email. Being abroad I cannot send message to 9966. What should I do in this case ?

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      2 months ago from Pakistan

      It would be my pleasure to help you to become a filer. In this regard I would need:

      1. Scanned copy of your CNIC

      2. Your Cell No. in Pakistan (Sim should be in your name)

      3. Detail of assets owned by you e.g. plot, house, vehicle in your name along with price at which they were purchased and year of purchase.

      4. Bank balance as on 30.06.2017.

      5. The figure of your income for the financial year 2016-2017 (1.07.2016 to 30.06.2017).

      You may send these details to my email address: firdousi0@yahoo.com

      If you provide these details by today, I will make your filer by Monday 28th May 2018. I will charge just Rs.10,000 for this service, which be paid after completion of task.

      My whatsapp No. is 03454258240

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      2 months ago from Pakistan

      Amjad Ali

      It can be checked with your CNIC whether you are a filer or non-filer. However, if you want to become a filer pleas contact us via phone No.0332-4112278 and email firdousi0@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      Masood 

      2 months ago

      Very useful information. But I would like to know the pensioners who intend to invest their funds are charged with withholding tax. Whereas their pension is tax exempted then how will they be benefited from this advance tax.

    • profile image

      Ali 

      2 months ago

      hello, i have recently returned to Pakistan after finishing my studies and want to become a filer but, currently i do not have any source of income. how can i become a filer?

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      2 months ago from Pakistan

      plz type msg and sent to 9966 from your cell No. and you will get the code.

    • profile image

      Shahid Aziz 

      2 months ago

      I am abroad in Pakistan embassy and trying to get enrolled. How to do it as I can't get code on local registered no even it's on on roaming.

    • firdousi0 profile imageAUTHOR

      Fassee Ullah 

      10 months ago from Pakistan

      Mr. Shahzad Ali Khurram,

      If you are intending to incorporate a new company, the same should be registered with Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan, but first you may consult a expert to know whether you need to be registered a company or you may continue your business smoothly without it, as incorporation of a company involves many complications. After incorporation you can apply for NTN of the company with FBR. You may contact me for further details and free advice, etaxconsultancypk@gmail.com Cell. 0332-4112278

    • profile image

      Imran 

      2 years ago

      It is very important for the taxpayers to file their returns in time to get themselves in the list of active taxpayers so that their tax may be withheld by the banks at the lower rates or even no deduction.

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