Young cheats: Almost 50% of tax dodgers below 35 years of age

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 12:29:57 by


Nearly five out of every 10 identified tax dodgers are between 18 and 35 years of age, while one out of every 10 of the evaders is a woman, according to official statistics.

Karachi hosts the maximum number of tax evaders, while traders make up the biggest group of those who earn millions, own multiple houses and expensive vehicles, maintain many accounts and spend significant time abroad while avoiding paying a rupee to the exchequer.

The statistics also show that almost two-thirds of the identified people use advanced business models.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) have for the first time identified and grouped over 2.4 million tax dodgers, according to their age groups, sex, geographical background and professions.

Almost 60% of the 2.4 million have a two-member family, while 317,429 have more than five-member families. According to census and data, wealthy people like to have small families.

Also featuring in the list of evaders are 735,212 people who have remained taxpayers but have exited the system through corrupt FBR officials. However, this figure has not been used in working out the percentages in various categories of evaders.  Salaried individuals and withholding agents have not been added to the list either.

According to official figures, as many as 2.2 million or almost 90% of the 2.4 million men and 240,292 (10.2%) women willfully evade taxes.

The government will provide the tax dodgers one last opportunity to avail the tax amnesty scheme before resorting to coercive measures.

Age groups

Ten percent or 242,640 indentified people are between 18 to 25 years of age; 465,549 or 20% are between 26 to 30 years of age and 393,850 people or 17% are between 31 and 35 years of age. This shows that 47% of the total evaders fall between the ages of 18 and 35, indicating the trend of transferring assets to offspring, a common practice among politicians and the industrialists in the country.

As many as 897,242 individuals or 38% are between the age group of 36 and 50 years. Fifteen per cent or 355,744 people fall in the age group of 36 to 40, while 285,409 or 12% are of 41 to 45 years of age. Eleven percent or 256,089 individuals are aged between 46 and 50 years.

In the elderly group of 51 to 60 years, as many as 360,546 people or 15% have been identified.

Top 10 cities

Karachi hosts 326,144 or 13.8% of the identified people followed by Lahore with 238,050 people (10%), Rawalpindi with 117,639 people (5%), Faisalabad with 101,422 people (4.3%) and Sialkot with 97,391 people or 4.2%.

The rest are residents of Gujranwala, Gujrat, Multan, Peshawar and Islamabad.

Top 10 professions

The maximum numbers of evaders, 62,779, are traders by profession, followed by contractors (36,270), importers-exporters (17,853), general-store wholesalers (13,531), jewellers (10,728), small industry owners (10,105), construction industry owners (9,569), doctors (9,330), travel agents (5,426) and owners of filling stations (3,766.)

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2012.

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