Understanding Filing Requirements in Pakistan’s Income Tax System

Income tax is an important source of revenue for the government of Pakistan. In order to ensure that taxes are collected effectively, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has established a system of filing requirements for taxpayers. This article provides an overview of the filing requirements for income tax in Pakistan and explains what it means to be a filer.

Who is a Filer?

In Pakistan’s income tax system, a filer is a person whose name is on the Active Taxpayer List (ATL) issued by the FBR. The ATL is a list of taxpayers who have filed their tax returns and paid their taxes in a timely manner. It is updated on a regular basis and is used by the government to identify filers and non-filers.

If a person’s name is on the ATL, they are considered a filer, and they are entitled to certain benefits, such as lower rates of withholding tax. On the other hand, if a person’s name is not on the ATL, they are considered a non-filer, and they may be subject to higher rates of withholding tax.

Why is Filing Important?

Filing income tax returns is important for several reasons.

First, it is a legal requirement. According to the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, every person who earns taxable income is required to file a tax return. Failure to do so can result in penalties and fines.

Second, filing tax returns is important for individuals and businesses to maintain their credibility and reputation. Being a filer demonstrates that the taxpayer is a responsible citizen who fulfills their obligations to the state. It can also help in obtaining loans, visas, and other important documents.

Third, filing tax returns is important for the government to collect revenue. Taxes are used to fund public services and infrastructure, such as roads, hospitals, and schools. Without taxes, the government would not be able to provide these services to the citizens of Pakistan.

How to Become a Filer?

To become a filer, a person must first register for a National Tax Number (NTN) from the FBR. This can be done online or in person at an FBR office. Once a person has an NTN, they can file their tax returns and become a filer.

To be included on the ATL, a person must file their tax return and pay their taxes by the due date. The due date for filing tax returns in Pakistan is usually September 30th of each year. However, the government may extend the deadline in certain cases.

Benefits of Being a Filer

Being a filer has several benefits. First, filers are entitled to lower rates of withholding tax. This means that when a filer receives income, such as a salary or dividend, the amount of tax withheld by the payer is lower than the amount withheld from a non-filer.

Second, filers are eligible for tax credits and deductions. Tax credits reduce the amount of tax that a person owes, while tax deductions reduce the amount of income that is subject to tax.

Third, filers are exempt from certain taxes, such as the advance tax on the purchase of a motor vehicle. This can result in significant savings for filers.


In conclusion, being a filer in Pakistan’s income tax system is important for individuals and businesses who earn taxable income. Filing tax returns and paying taxes on time demonstrates a commitment to fulfilling obligations to the state and maintaining credibility and reputation. Filers are entitled to several benefits, including lower rates of withholding tax, tax credits and deductions, and exemptions from certain taxes. It is important to understand the filing requirements and to comply with them in order to avoid penalties and fines.

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