Pak cricketers told to pay tax dues: report

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) has issued notices to members of the national cricket team including captain Misbah-ul-Haq, asking them to pay their tax dues, a media report said.

FBR has also decided to initiate move against several cricketers, who are allegedly involved in evading taxes worth tens of millions of rupees. Quoting senior officials of the FBR, The `Express Tribune` daily said all income tax returns filed by the cricket team were audited and it was found that most of the cricketers "had huge discrepancies between their actual incomes and figures given on tax documents."

However, sources close to Misbah-ul-Haq downplayed the entire issue. "It is not an issue. There was a misunderstanding because of which Misbah was issued the notice," a source close to the player told the daily.

He also explained that Misbah was issued the notice in the wrong category. "The department issued notice by considering him (the player) in the wrong category," the source claimed.

He, however, added that the player was consulting his lawyer on how to respond to the notice. "Misbah will (file a) reply through his lawyers and the matter would be resolved soon."

Interestingly, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had formally filed an appeal with the FBR, seeking an income tax exemption whenever the amended second schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance of 2001 became applicable.

PCB chief Ijaz Butt is reported to have first approached the Prime Minister during a reception for the country`s women cricket team, the daily said. It added that it has been learnt the PCB had asked the FBR to "restore the exemption" granted to cricketers. The income tax exemption for the PCB had been withdrawn a few years ago, along with several other exemptions.