Tax on Agriculture Income

Briefing Paper No.43

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Publication No: PD-259

Rs 1,500  

Pakistan faces abysmally low tax-to-GDP ratios varying between 9 – 11%. Presently calculated at 9.2%, and especially compared to peer countries and to the region, this percentage is the lowest in the world. This scenario has led to the need for urgent re-thinking and reforms in current tax policies as well as addressing deficiencies in the tax administration system. The need to tax agricultural income, just like any other income in the country, has also fuelled the debate on how to tax the agricultural income. Because rural income is growing, the demand for taxing agricultural income has gained new importance. Since the right to collect agricultural income tax lies exclusively with the provinces, provincial legislators need to lead an informed discourse on taxing the agricultural income in Pakistan. Like most divisive issues, there is an urgent need to develop a political consensus on this issue which needs to be led by public representatives. This is only possible through an informed debate following which the provincial legislators can recommend and oversee practical reforms required in taxing the agricultural income. This Briefing Paper on Tax on Agriculture Income is part of the PILDAT series of papers on agricultural income tax aimed at crystallizing the issue and its various facets so as to facilitate an informed discourse among MPAs. This paper outlines the perspectives by Ms. Huzaima Bukhari and Dr. Ikramul Haq.

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