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How do You File an Income Tax Return in Pakistan?

Black mug with pen and paper for filing taxes
Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema

If you need to file your income tax returns in Pakistan, the process has become much easier than in the past. The authority responsible for enforcing tax regulation in Pakistan is the Federal Board of Revenue or FBR, and they have streamlined the process.

But you need to know that it is not just about filing a return but about filing the return correctly. Filing a tax return is relatively easy, but omitting or falsifying information can lead to penalties. What this means is that if you incorrectly file your income tax return, the FBR may not flag it initially, but you will eventually receive notices, which will result in a lot of hassle and effort to rectify the mistake.

Hiring professional and qualified accountants will help you make sure you do it right the first time. A qualified accountant can also help you plan your taxes so that you are utilizing tax credits and exemptions for your benefit. This guide explains the process of filing income tax returns in Pakistan.

Who Has to Pay Taxes in Pakistan

If you are a salaried individual or business person or have otherwise earned taxable income during the year, you are required by law to pay taxes on such income earned. As of the date of this blog, the amount of income which is taxable is Rs. 600,000 per annum.

Before you file your taxes, you will need a National Tax Number (NTN), and the process to get one has become very easy. Previously you had to appear before the FBR to get a national tax number, but now all you have to do is visit the IRIS portal and register by entering some of your details. It is essential to ensure you enter the correct personal details to avoid hassle in the future.

You will need the following information or documents to get an NTN:

  • For individuals: CNIC, residential address, mobile number and an email address

  • For most businesses: CNIC, a paid electricity bill, rental agreement, mobile and email address and the nature of your business.

  • For Association of Persons (AOP) i.e. partnerships, additional documents are required and a physical visit by at least one partner.

Documents you need to File your Return

Now that you have your NTN number, you can file your tax return after collecting the necessary documents.

Once your NTN is registered, you need to collect your documents which will differ if you are a salaried individual or a business. Keeping in mind the tax year, you will need all of these documents from July 1st to June 30 of the tax year you are filing for and any record of income earned during this period. Taxes must be filed by September 30 for individuals and AOPs and by December 31 for companies.

For individuals, you will need the following:

  • Proof of all incomes earned during the tax year.

  • List of assets owned at the end of the tax year.

  • Any information on tax deducted or collected at source.

  • Any major transactions during the year, including gifts, inheritance, foreign remittances, and purchase/sale of assets.

  • Tax deduction certificate from your employer for the tax year you are filing for.

  • Bank account statements for the tax year you are filing for.

  • Any loans you have taken from any financial institution.

  • A list of all personal assets, including their value.

  • Any utility bills in your name.

For businesses, you will need the following:

  • Accounting records of the business, including balance sheet and income statement.

  • All invoices for your business show net sales for the tax year.

  • All expenses for your business for the tax year.

  • Bank statements for your business for the tax year.

  • A list of all business and personal assets for the tax year.

  • Any utility bills under the company or your name if you are the tax filer.

Common Mistakes When Filing Tax Returns

There are many mistakes one can make when filing tax returns. This involves not declaring all of your income from all sources. It is essential to plan before the due date so that you can organise your sources of income and collect all of them in a timely fashion. You do not want the tax submission date looming over your head when you scrambling to gather your sources of income.

Some familiar sources of income that are forgotten are:

  • Any payment you made on the sale of a precious item.

  • The profit you made from the sale of a property.

  • Dividends

  • Prize Bonds

  • Profit on saving accounts

In addition to income, not reporting your expenses correctly can result in underestimating your income. You need to ensure you are not exaggerating your expenses and have proof of all the costs you will be reporting.

Recalling numbers from the top of your head will not cut it. You need solid paper/digital proof of the expenses you incurred during the tax year or that your business paid.

You can rectify any omissions or errors in your return, but you need approval from the commissioner. It is best to hire a tax accountant to file our taxes to avoid this hassle or inconvenience.

Hiring a Tax Accountant

To avoid many of the mistakes mentioned above, it is a good idea to hire a professional accountant who can assist you in filing your return. As mentioned previously, if you do not file your taxes correctly, the FBR is bound by law to send you notices and enforce penalties that can lead to heavy fines.

After you hand all of your documents to your tax accountant, they will draft your return and take a look at it to ensure there are no irregularities and everything is correct. They will then send it to you to finalise it before it is submitted.

Any tax credits and exemptions will be explained to you so you can avail yourself of all savings under the current tax legislation.

When hiring a tax accountant, you want to make sure they are qualified and have expertise specifically in the area that you need. You should also vet their qualifications and check the firm's reviews to ensure they are competent and have a good name in the industry.

Alam & Alam Makes it Easy and Effortless

Alam & Alam Legal and Financial Consultants can make your tax filing experience efficient, smooth and effortless. If you are looking for a reputable firm with vast experience in filing for individuals and reputable businesses, you are in the right place.

We have qualified ACCA and ICAP accountants that can assist you in filing your tax returns.

Contact us to learn how we can help you with your taxes today!

Visit our website to learn more about our services, and check out our reviews here.

A & A has provided reliable, trustworthy, and expert legal assistance to individuals, corporations, and firms for the last twelve years. Contact us today to receive a consult and discuss your legal or financial concerns.

Telephone: +92-51-2355777, +92-332-5233523, +92-344-5555588



The information provided in this blog is not a replacement for professional advice. It is an informative article that can give you an overview of your legal or financial issues. Contact Alam & Alam Legal and Financial Consultants today for more detailed expert advice.


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