PM Imran Khan did not say tax rate is now zero percent

He said that registered IT freelancers will be exempt from all forms of tax

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Claim: According to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the tax rate is now 0%.  

Fact: The prime minister did not say the tax rate is now 0%. Rather, while speaking at the launch of an e-commerce portal on 21 February 2022, Khan said that registered IT freelancers will be exempt from all forms of tax.

Fact or Fiction?

On 21 February 2022, journalist Javed Chaudhry published a report on his Facebook page with the headline, “خوشخبری سناتا ہوں ٹیکس صفر کردیا ہے، وزیراعظم عمران خان [The good news is that tax is zero now, Prime Minister Imran Khan]”.

Soch Fact Check found this to be false after watching a video on YouTube of Khan speaking at the launch of an e-commerce portal. The video titled, “Prime Minister Imran Khan announces ZERO TAX for registered freelancers,” was posted on ARY News’ official YouTube channel.

Addressing the audience at the launch ceremony of the National E-Tijarat Portal, the prime minister can be heard saying at the 5:05 mark, “Firstly, I want to give you this good news today that we have decided that there will be zero tax for registered freelancers.”

The story was also shared on Javed Chaudhry’s website. The body of the article states , “انہوں نے کہا کہ خوشخبری سناتا ہوں کہ ٹیکس صفر کردیا ہے [He said the good news is tax iz zero now]”. The story misrepresents Khan’s words and is missing context because it does not mention that Khan spoke about a zero tax rate with reference to registered freelancers. 

Virality

According to a CrowdTangle analysis conducted by Soch Fact Check, the search term “خوشخبری سناتا ہوں ٹیکس صفر کردیا ہے، وزیراعظم عمران خان” turned up one post on Facebook which received 1,535 interactions over the three days leading up to 22 February 2022. The post shared by Javed Chaudhry’s verified page which has over four million followers received 1,400 likes, 258 comments and 27 shares. 

Soch Fact Check conducted a Google search with the search term  “ٹیکس صفر کردیا ہے، وزیراعظم عمران خان” and ascertained that the claim was also picked up by , Pakistan News International (PNI). 

The headline and content of the report published by PNI is exactly the same as Javed Chaudhry’s post, indicating that the story was reshared word-for-word. 

The story was also shared on Twitter by PNI. 

Conclusion: Imran Khan did not say that the tax rate will be reduced to zero. His statement is being misrepresented in posts and reports online. The prime minister, in fact, said that registered IT freelancers will be exempt from all forms of tax.

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