Pakistan Spurns Tax Evading Politicians
February 21, 2013 Taxation in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan is striking out at tax evasion committed by the most powerful people in the country by banning tax defaulters from holding seats in parliament.
Following its meeting on February 20th, the Election Commission of Pakistan announced that from now on all individuals who wish to run in the upcoming general election must be vetted to ensure that they have no outstanding tax obligations, defaulted loans, or overdue utility bills.
Potential candidates will also be required to submit information about any agricultural lands they hold and any incomes earned from it, and also provide all information about any their children who are currently studying in an overseas universities or schools.
The collected data will be cross checked and verified with records kept by tax authorities and other government bodies, and will also be made public during the election.
Any individual who is found to have defaulted on debts or tax obligations will be barred from campaigning in the upcoming the general election.
The new requirements are aimed at addressing the country’s widespread problem of corruption and tax evasion, which was highlighted last December by allegations that only a quarter of all members of parliament in Pakistan filed any tax returns in 2011.
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