|As if losing to Sri Lanka in an ODI series and then attest match wasn’t bad enough, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued notices to Pakistan’s cricketers and warned them against submitting faulty tax returns.
FBR spokeswoman Riffat Shaheen spoke about the situation and was quoted saying: “We have issued notices to six cricketers who have either not given correct statements or have not filed their returns and directed them to do so within 30 days.”
Test and One-Day International captain Misbah-ul-Haq, T20 captain Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Taufeeq Umar, Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz have all been handed strict warnings to submit all documents or they could risk getting into a lot more trouble.
Misbah, who was suspended from the first test at Galle stadium, has allegedly submitted statements only for 2010. The FBR also pointed out that Hafeez, Akmal and Taufeeq failed to submit tax returns in 2010-11, Azhar Ali hadn’t declared any of his earnings and Wahab Riaz doesn’t even have a national tax number.
Pakistan's tax revenues are among the lowest in the world at just 9.8 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2010-2011, says the Asian Development Bank, and less than two percent of the population pays tax on their income.
The country has long defied Western pressure to end tax-dodging and the IMF in 2010 halted a $11.3 billion assistance package over a lack of progress on reforms, principally on tax.
Since the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) raised salaries of Pakistan cricketers last month, they have been earning anywhere between $1,300 to $4,000 a month, reports suggest.
Players who appear in all three formats of the game also get a match-fee, with the top eight players getting $4,000 a Test, $3,800 for a one-day and $2,900 for a Twenty20 international.
Being suspended from the game is one thing. If these cricketers do not turn up with legit documents within the given time, they’ll face a worse psychological beat-down and might even be jailed for tax evasion and government fraud.