According to the Tax Directory 2016, 40% of the companies and business entities in Pakistan did not pay any tax in the year 2016, despite filing income tax returns.
A total of 79,700 companies and business entities filed tax returns for the year 2016, but only 33,000 paid taxes. These 79,700 companies are apart from those companies that did not even file any tax return during the said business year.
While companies did not file any tax returns, they did submit their returns to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.
Association of Persons (AOPs) during the business year paid taxes worth Rs. 54 billion while companies paid Rs. 430 billion during the year 2016. Out of Rs. 430 billion taxes paid by the companies, Pakistan’s top 50 companies paid Rs. 202 billion or about 48% of the total taxes paid by the companies.
The top 10 companies in Pakistan contributed to about Rs. 102.5 billion of the total taxes paid by the companies.
In the corporate sector, Habib Bank Limited led the way by paying Rs. 16.47 billion in taxes during the year 2016 followed by Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) and United Bank Limited (UBL) that paid Rs. 16.16 billion and Rs. 15.3 billion, respectively.
Pak Arab Refinery, Pakistan State Oil, National Bank of Pakistan, and Fauji Fertilizer were some of the companies in the top 10 list of taxpayers in the corporate sector.
Taxation laws in Pakistan are very complex and businesses and entrepreneurs often find it difficult to comprehend them. But the ratio of taxpayers is still very low in Pakistan, keeping in mind that the companies who post losses also have to pay 1% in tax, if their annual turnover is more than Rs. 10 million.