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    Thursday, 12 July 2018

    Tax Amnesty Scheme received "Good Response" Faheem-ul-Haq

    MULTAN, July 12th: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) member  Faheem-ul-Haq has said that we would have to bring the National and foreign assets of Pakistanis in main stream to make the country economically strong and prosperous. He claimed that the offshore and domestic tax amnesty schemes received ‘unprecedented’ response, as over 55,000 declarations were filed to whiten Rs1.8 trillion worth of hidden assetsWhile more Than Rs.one billion assets were declared in Multan. Addressing the Seminar on "Tax amnesty Scheme 2018 chaired by Malik Asrar Ahmed Awan, at Multan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), he disclosed that  the tax amnesty scheme, contrary to the expectations, has so far received better response than the offshore tax amnesty scheme. The government announced the scheme with effect from April 10, primarily to offer last opportunity to Pakistanis, facing increasing problems due to tightening of tax laws by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The domestic amnesty scheme had been included at the later stage of planning due to initial opposition by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).He made it clear that this scheme was not introduced for the benefit of a particular group or class.Everyone can avail this opportunity. “So far, 55,225 declarations have been filed in which declared value of foreign assets is around Rs577 billion ($4.8 billion) and that of domestic assets is around Rs1.192 trillion,” he said. The total value of the hidden assets declared under both the schemes was Rs1.8 trillion.He maintained that Pakistan has also become a signatory to the OECD Multilateral Convention which will provide access to information about offshore financial accounts of Pakistani residents from September 2018.It added that this will enhance the capacity of the FBR due to access to offshore financial accounts of Pakistani residents held in the signatory countries. Necessary amendments have also been made in the Protection of Economic Reform (PERA) Act, 1992, to regulate foreign exchange movements and bring it in line with Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, it said.Moreover, amendments have been made in the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, whereby the FBR may inquire about the source of foreign remittance above Rs10 million and limitation of five years to probe foreign assets and income has been removed.Faheem-ul-Haq said that the amnesty scheme for foreign assets applies to both liquid and immovable assets such as bank accounts, shares and mortgaged properties. Tax rates range from 2% to 5%, depending on the type of asset. Special tax rate of 2% is applicable to liquid assets which are repatriated to Pakistan. The amnesty scheme for domestic assets covers all types of assets and income, with tax rates of 2% and 5%. He also reiterated that the declarants were protected against any harassment and there was complete confidentiality of declarant’s information. Moreover, such information cannot be used as evidence against declarants under any other law, it added. Chief Commissioner inland revenue Abid Raza Bodla said that this scheme was beneficial for all Pakistanis having undeclared or hidden assets in Pakistan or abroad. President of Multyan Chyamber Malik Asrar Ahmed Awan stressed the need for restoration of confidence of General Public and  the declarants must be  protected against any harassment and there should be complete confidentiality of declarant’s information. Moreover, such information cannot be used as evidence against declarants under any other law, he added.The Seminar was also attended Khawaja Muhamnmad Farooq Vice President and Khurram Javed Butt Secretary General of MCCI

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    Item Reviewed: Tax Amnesty Scheme received "Good Response" Faheem-ul-Haq Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Asqamar