ISLAMABAD: It has been revealed that under the amnesty scheme, which was introduced by the government to convert black money into white, more than 10,000 people deposited taxes but declarations under the same scheme were not submitted.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has obtained the details of those who deposited tax challan but did not file returns. According to sources, FBR has learnt from field formations across the country that 10,000 people had deposited tax challan by midnight of July 3 when the deadline ended, but owing to rush on the website, they were unable to file tax returns and declare their assets.
These people deposited more than Rs2.5 billion in taxes.Now they have approached FBR and are demanding that since they had deposited tax challan to exhibit their assets before the expiry of the amnesty scheme, but were unable to declare assets due to sluggish pace of system and facility to submit online assets declaration on web portal had ended on July 3 midnight, it is not their fault and they be allowed to declare their assets.
However, FBR, when contacted, said that according to law, the duration of amnesty scheme had ended on July 3, therefore, permission to declare assets cannot be given.The government has to decide on the matter because it had assured the International Monetary Fund that till the end of the programme no new amnesty scheme will be introduced. If any such step is taken, it has to be seen if it would affect the IMF conditions.Secondly, if permission is given, a presidential ordinance will have to be introduced or approval will be required by presenting an amendment bill in the parliament because any extension or amendment is not possible with a notification.
The same situation had occurred during the tenure of the previous government when the amnesty scheme was announced but many people had failed to benefit from it despite depositing tax challan.
The FBR said that they had been receiving requests from people but no final decision has been taken yet.One suggestion is under consideration that those who have submitted challan will be made to pay the remaining tax after adjusting their tax dues and they would declare their assets in return.
However, there are many legal complications in the matter as it comes under the head of hiding the source of income on which a higher percentage of tax and fine applies.