Cricket: Pakistan players warned on tax evasion

Pakistan on Tuesday warned cricket stars against submitting tardy tax returns, rubbing salt in their wounds after they lost the first Test to Sri Lanka.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued notices to Test and one-day captain Misbah-ul Haq, Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Taufeeq Umar, Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz.

"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," Riffat Shaheen, FBR spokeswoman, told AFP.

Misbah missed the first Test owing to a suspension following the fifth one day against Sri Lanka earlier this month, while Akmal and Riaz are not in the Test squad.

Pakistan's tax revenues are among the lowest in the world at just 9.8 per cent of GDP in fiscal year 2010-2011, says the Asian Development Bank, and less than two per cent 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.

The FBR says Riaz does not have a national tax number while Hafeez, Akmal and Taufeeq failed to submit their tax returns for 2010-2011. Misbah submitted statements only for 2010 and Ali did not declare his complete earnings.

Cricketers earn tens of thousands of dollars in contracts, endorsements and match fees.

Since the Pakistan Cricket Board raised pay last month, players earn between $3,400 and $1,300 a month depending on their category.

Those who appear in the 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.
 

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