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Tax Policy in Pakistan: An Assessment of Major Taxes and Options for Reform

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Abstract

This paper undertakes a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of all of Pakistan’s major sources of tax revenue: the individual income tax, the corporate income tax, the sales tax, excise taxes and trade taxes on imports. For each major tax it describes the nature of the current tax base and the rate or rate structure that is applied to that base. After that exercise the paper identifies certain features of each tax that raise significant concerns for tax policy and constitute the beginning of an agenda for future tax reform. In each case the tax policy issues that have been flagged are discussed within a policy framework that appeals to the broadly accepted norms of “good” taxation and international experience in grappling with these issues. The concluding section of this paper sets forth for consideration an array of tax reform proposals that attempt to address the most important flaws and problems that have been detected in Pakistan’s tax system.

Suggested Citation

  • Wayne Thirsk, 2008. "Tax Policy in Pakistan: An Assessment of Major Taxes and Options for Reform," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0808, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0808
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    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp0808.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2006. "Pakistan: A Preliminary Assessment of the Federal Tax System," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0624, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. Peter, Klara Sabirianova & Buttrick, Steve & Duncan, Denvil, 2010. "Global Reform of Personal Income Taxation, 1981–2005: Evidence From 189 Countries," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 63(3), pages 447-478, September.
    3. Kelly D. Edmiston & Richard M. Bird, 2007. "Taxing Consumption in Jamaica," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(1), pages 26-56, January.
    4. Miss Saadia Refaqat, 2003. "Social Incidence of the General Sales Tax in Pakistan," IMF Working Papers 2003/216, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Alm & Mir Ahmad Khan, 2008. "Assessing Enterprise Taxation and the Investment Climate in Pakistan," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0810, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. Robina Ather Ahmed & Mark Rider, 2008. "Pakistan’s Tax Gap: Estimates By Tax Calculation and Methodology," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0811, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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    Keywords

    Pakistan; Pakistan Taxation; fiscal decentralization; revenue mobolization; sources of tax revenue;
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