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I think the aversion to pay tax is universal, but among Pakistanis the evasion of income tax is probably the highest in the world, perhaps even more than in India. Income tax was introduced by the British (along with central excise duty) to raise funds for the development of the subcontinent. A religious leader once told me that income tax is against the tenets of Islam. "A man who has twelve children has to pay more income tax than a man who has none," he said. I wanted to tell him that a man who fathers twelve children has to be a moron, but since I didn't want to get lynched on the spot, I kept quiet.
When I first started paying income tax (1968), annual income above Rs. 6,000 (about U.S.$ 1,400 at the time) was subject to income tax. Today anyone who earns Rs. 300,000 (U.S. $ 3,500)a year has to pay income tax. So every Pakistani tries to declare his income below this amount to avoid paying income tax. But those who work in the corporate or government sector cannot escape, as their taxes are deducted from their salaries and paid to the government by their employers. As I have pointed out many times, the feudal lords (like those who sit in parliament) have made laws exempting themselves from payment of income tax, so the common taxpayer feels that income tax is unjustified. Apart from feudal lords, there is a vast majority which is self-employed (property brokers and transporters, for instance, not to mention smugglers and retailers) who do not declare their true incomes and pay very little income tax.
Thus there are thousands of Pakistanis who have only "black" money (income which has not been declared to the government, like kickbacks and commissions). When such people want to buy properties (like apartments or plots of land), they have to "whiten" their black money so they won't have to answer awkward questions from the income tax people about where they got so much money (despite having very low incomes). The most popular method to whiten black money is first sending money to a relative living abroad (through "havala") and having him send it back through normal banking channels. This white money is then used to buy property.
But because the government levies high taxes, transfer fees and stamp duties on sale and purchase of property (the taxes, duties and fees are a percentage of the value of the property), both the sellers and the buyers do not wish to declare the true value of their properties. Usually, the declared value of every property is only a third of the actual value. Naturally, the government does not get what it should be getting. Perhaps it can do what the Indians do: have a powerful revenue collection department.
In India, sellers have to inform the tax authorities the prices of properties being sold. If, in the opinion of the income tax authorities, the declared value of any property is less than what it should be, the income tax department can buy that property and then auction it off to the highest bidder. It's time for our government to employ this method to raise taxes, if Pakistan is to survive.

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