Over 9,100 SIM Cards Blocked – FBR Considers Tax on Top-Ups for Non-Filers

Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is taking a tough stance against non-tax filers, with measures that could significantly impact their mobile phone usage.

SIM Card Blockages:

  • Over 9,100 SIM cards belonging to non-tax filers have already been blocked based on data provided by the FBR to telecom companies.
  • The FBR plans to share data on an additional 30,000 non-filers in batches of 5,000 daily, potentially leading to further SIM card blockages.

Proposed Tax on Top-Ups:

  • The FBR previously suggested imposing an 87.5% withholding tax on mobile top-ups for non-filers.
  • This hefty tax could mean users receiving only Rs 10 for every Rs 100 top-up until they file their income tax returns.


  • The FBR has identified over 550,000 non-filers in Pakistan.
  • The aim of these measures is to encourage tax compliance by making it more inconvenient and expensive for non-filers to use mobile phones.

Challenges and Concerns:

  • Blocking SIM cards could disrupt essential communication services for non-filers, even those who may not be liable for significant taxes.
  • The proposed tax on top-ups could disproportionately impact low-income mobile phone users.

Uncertainties Remain:

  • The initial request by the FBR to block SIM cards was rejected by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and cellular companies.
  • It’s unclear whether the FBR’s latest approach will be implemented or face further resistance.

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