Mobile network operators in Pakistan have just abolished operational and service charges on mobile top-ups i.e. either through card recharge or balance transfers, as reported by ProPakistani. Supreme Court had restored all taxes on mobile phone top-ups in its verdict last month and decided not to interfere in the matters of public revenue and tax collection system in the future.
As of now, the mobile phone users will get around Rs. 88 balance in their mobile account after recharging an Rs. 100 card. Previously, when mobile phone users recharged an Rs. 100 card, they used to get around Rs. 72 to Rs. 77 balance in their account.
All the mobile network operators in Pakistan including Jazz, Telenor, Ufone, and Zong have officially started applying the new tax rate on mobile top-ups. Check the screenshot below.
It appears that 10% service/maintenance charges on every Rs. 100 card has now been withdrawn and mobile network users will have to pay 12.5% withholding tax and 19.5% FED, which is still applicable on every top-up and balance transfer. The move is likely triggered by the Supreme Court’s verdict that reverted mobile phone taxes to July 2018 levels.
It is preeminent to note here that the former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar had suspended all taxes on mobile balance cards/top-ups last year in June and the court-ordered FBR and telecom companies to regulate new rules to tax consumers on mobile top-ups. At that time some mobile network consumers were getting Rs. 61.93 balance in the mobile account on Rs. 100 recharge.
A couple of months ago, when Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa restored all the previous taxes on mobile cards, PTA had argued during a court proceeding that Rs. 90 billion tax was not collected due to the suspension of tax collection law on mobile top-ups. Meanwhile, consumers had enjoyed a long period of 10 months without paying any taxes on mobile load/card recharge.