The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is reportedly investigating a Pakistani prankster, Nadir Ali, for allegedly concealing his income, which runs into millions through a YouTube channel.
According to a report, it is not known when the investigation was launched, but those connected with it in the Intelligence and Investigation Department say it has now been concluded and the matter referred to the Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue Tax Office (RTO)-III in Karachi for “implementation and recovery of the tax evaded”.
During the course of investigation, tax officials say, numerous notices have been served on him. “He has not replied to any of them,” they tell Dawn. He now has the option to appeal the order before the Commissioner Appeals in the RTO office in Karachi.
The case is the first in what FBR officials say a series of actions against individuals deriving large income from hosting online content that have not been declared for tax purposes. In the scene of Pakistani online stars, Nadir’s is a near iconic story, rising from obscurity as a small time comedian to an internet star in four years. He started his YouTube channel in May 2016 and now has a presence on Facebook and Instagram as well.
As a resident person, Nadir registered with the income tax department on Oct 13, 2017 and filed returns for the tax years 2016-2019. In the first two years (2016 and 2017), he declared nil income, while in the following two years — 2018 and 2019 — income was declared at Rs809,762 and Rs14.44m, respectively.
The FBR investigation reveals that Nadir’s tax returns do not contain a full record of his income, leading them to believe he has concealed his income.
According to the report, Nadir received an income of Rs2.186m in tax year 2017, Rs28.335m in 2018 and Rs46.762m in tax year 2019. The details of payment have been verified by the FBR from YouTube.