Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Tax Pilferage—Causes and Cures

Author: B. A. Azhar

“Tax pilferage” is an English equivalent of the well-known Urdu phrase “Tax Chori”. The formal expression is tax evasion. To begin with, we draw a distinction between tax evasion and tax avoidance. Tax evasion is defined to include all illegal acts of omission and commission which result in tax loss to the exchequer. According to the United Kingdom Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income, the term “evasion”: “…denotes all those activities which are responsible for a person not paying the tax that the existing law charges upon his income. Ex hypothesis he is in the wrong, though his wrongdoing may range from the making of a deliberately fraudulent return to a mere failure to make his return or to pay his tax at the proper time.” [U. K. (1955).] To be more specific, evasion refers to the nonpayment of tax as a result of failure to submit a return without reasonable excuse, or underpayment of tax, by submitting an incorrect return where incorrectness is due to gross neglect or fraud, or due to omission, or understatement of income or the deduction of an inadmissible or a fictitious expenditure, or loss.

B. A. Azhar