FBR to End Discrimination Against Manual Tax Filers

In a significant decision, the President of Pakistan has ruled to eliminate discrimination against manual tax filers in Pakistan. This move ensures that both electronic and manual filers have equal access to tax benefits, promoting fairness within the tax system.

Previous Issues:

Prior to this ruling, concerns were raised about the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) practices. Critics argued that manual filers were being unfairly denied access to tax benefits enjoyed by those who filed electronically. This was seen as a violation of Rule 73 of the Income Tax Rules 2002, which mandates fair treatment for all taxpayers who file within the legal timeframe.

The Impact of Discrimination:

The exclusion of manual filers from the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) database, despite timely filing, created a disadvantage. This could have potentially discouraged individuals from fulfilling their tax obligations through the manual system. Additionally, it raised concerns about unequal treatment within the tax system.

A Step Towards Fairness:

The President’s decision is a positive step towards a more equitable tax system in Pakistan. By ensuring that both manual and electronic filers have access to the same benefits, the government is promoting a level playing field and encouraging broader participation in the tax filing process.

Looking Forward:

The FBR now has an opportunity to implement measures that address the historical shortcomings identified. This could involve:

  • Streamlining Procedures: Simplifying the manual filing process can encourage more individuals to choose this method.
  • Enhancing Communication: Clearly communicating tax benefits and filing procedures to all taxpayers, regardless of filing method, is essential.
  • Technology Integration: Exploring ways to integrate manual filing data with the tax system could improve efficiency and reduce the risk of exclusion.


The President’s decision paves the way for a more inclusive tax environment in Pakistan. By addressing the concerns raised by manual filers and implementing necessary improvements, the FBR can further strengthen the tax system and ensure fairness for all taxpayers.

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