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