FAISALABAD: The tax amnesty has received a better response compared with the previous scheme, and details are still being updated by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Addressing the third awareness session on the 'Tax Amnesty Scheme 2018', FBR Director General Withholding Tax Mehmood Aslam Lillah said placing Pakistan in the grey list has forced strict monitoring of capital movement. Additionally, 143 countries under an international convention are bound to pass on bank account information and transactions of foreigners through an automatic exchange of information system.
FBR set to identify new taxpayers
He said these two factors have particularly made it impossible to conceal assets or accounts in other countries. "In this scenario, the amnesty scheme is an appropriate and timely measure," said the official.
He lamented that some elements were reluctant to pay 5% on foreign assets and were expecting this rate to be slashed. However, the caretaker government has refrained from doing so, stating that it does not have the mandate except for announcing an extension.
He said that the ultimate objective of this scheme is not to generate revenue as government's focus was accountability of undeclared assets.
Tax amnesty: Hidden assets valued at Rs1.8tr declared
Regarding the valuation of the properties purchased years ago, the official said that a clear formula has been mentioned in the scheme under which the land rates will be determined in accordance to the prevailing DC or RTO rates, however, the cost of structure could be determined at the rate of Rs400 per square feet.
Commenting on withdrawal of withholding tax on bank transactions, he said that its ultimate objective was to broaden the tax base but it could not yield required results due to different reasons.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2018.
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