The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Wednesday sealed an office of the Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited (PMCL, commonly known as Mobilink or Jazz) due to non-payment of income tax amounting to Rs25.3 billion. FBR’ Deputy Commissioner Inland Revenue issued the notice in this morning (28/10/2020) stated that the sum of Rs. 25,393,653,480/- is due on account of tax in arrears, and asked to pay the amount of tax today by 1300 hours, failing which legal actions to be taken. “PMCL is an existing taxpayer falling in the jurisdiction of this office [LTU Islamabad]. An income tax amount of Rs25,393,653,480 was outstanding against the said company, which has been refraining from clearing its liabilities deliberately, dishonestly and without any lawful excuse, thus causing huge loss to the national exchequer,” the documents read. “Therefore, on the basis of facts stated inter alia, I, Ahmad Shakeel Babar, Deputy Commissioner Inland Revenue, in exercise of the powers vested in me in terms of section 138 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 read with section 48 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990, order to seal the business premises of the defaulter till the payment of outstanding dues in full or withdrawal of this order.” It was further stated that any non-compliance/defiance to this order shall be tantamount to obstruction in discharge of functions of an income tax authority and shall be punishable on conviction with a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both under section 196 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. Jazz has also issued a statement in response to the office being sealed: “Jazz is a law-abiding and responsible corporate citizen. Our contribution to Pakistan’s economy over the past 25 years is significant. We have received a notice from FBR this afternoon. Jazz has made tax submissions based on legal interpretations of the tax owed. We will review and take measures under our legal obligations and will collaborate with all concerned institutions for an early resolution of this issue.” Earlier, frustrated by call drops, bogged down by slow mobile internet speed and stymied by poor connectivity, Jazz customers were a harried lot. Many took to social media to vent their ire. The charge sheet was exhaustive – wildly inaccurate bills, charges for random premium rate calls and texts, phones disconnected and customers overcharged for upgrades. Jazz consumers across the country are facing issues regarding all parameters laid down by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Earlier, Pakistan scored 2.09 out of 10, getting a rank of 25 out of the 26 developing telecom markets in mobile broadband connectivity, according to a recent study.