Increased Withholding Tax for Non-Tax Filers on Phone & Internet

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has proposed a significant increase in withholding tax rates for phone and internet users who are not listed on the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) but are still liable to file income tax returns.

What’s Changing?

  • Current Rate: Currently, non-filers face a 15% withholding tax on prepaid phone cards, internet bills, and electronic media unit purchases.
  • Proposed Rate: The new proposal aims to increase this rate to a hefty 75% of the bill or sale price.

Stricter Enforcement:

The FBR also has the authority to disable phone connections and discontinue electricity and gas services for non-filers who neglect their tax filing responsibilities.

Potential Impact:

  • This significant rise in withholding tax could discourage non-filers from using prepaid phone and internet services.
  • It might encourage more people to register as filers to avoid the higher tax burden and potential service disruptions.

Important Note:

The article clarifies that even if a non-filer submits their income tax return and has their phone service restored, they might still face the higher withholding tax until their name is removed from the FBR’s general order.


Individuals unsure about their ATL status or tax filing obligations are advised to consult with the FBR or a tax professional. This can help them avoid potential service disruptions and ensure they are fulfilling their tax responsibilities accurately.

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