FBR plans action against UK assets holders

| Foreign tax authority shares details of Pakistanis owning properties with Board

ISLAMABAD - The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has stated issuing notices to Pakistanis for not disclosing their properties and assets in United Kingdom (UK) under the Tax Amnesty Scheme.

"We have received information of those Pakistanis who illegally own property in the United Kingdom," said FBR chairperson Rukhsana Yasmin on Monday. "The data was received from UK Tax Authorities". She further said that FBR would take action those Pakistanis who did not disclose their properties under the recent tax amnesty scheme, which given an opportunity to whiten the black money by paying nominal tax. The UK tax authority, HMRC, has shared with FBR full details of Pakistanis owning properties and earning rental incomes, she added.

The FBR in last month had obtained information about immovable properties owned by the Pakistanis in the United Kingdom with the assistance of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UK tax authorities. Another official informed The Nation that no one can hide its assets abroad after September as Pakistan would start receiving exchange of information about offshore accounts from OECD nations.

"The FBR had given an opportunity to these Pakistanis to whiten their black assets by paying nominal tax under the tax amnesty scheme," he said and added that all those, who did not disclose their assets, would now face the music.

The FBR had already announced to initiate action against those who do not declare their hidden local as foreign assets after the expiry of the scheme August 1, 2018. Apart from UK, the FBR would also review the details of Pakistanis who invested in real estate in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The list reportedly carries all the details of those people, including the addresses of properties, passport numbers of their owners, their names and even the ages of investors who had purchased properties there. Meanwhile, the FBR is also considering to take the help of National Database Regulatory Authority (Nadra) to trace the tax evaders and digging out the non-filers who hide their assets and income.

The Nadra will be requested to provide details of non-taxpayers regarding banking transaction, booking of vehicles, private school fees, deal in immoveable & moveable properties and foreign tours.

The previous PML-N government in early April had announced a tax amnesty scheme for local and foreign assets holders to disclose their properties. Amnesty scheme for foreign assets applies to both liquid and immovable assets such as bank accounts, shares and mortgaged properties. Tax rates range from 2percent to 5percent, depending on the type of asset. Special tax rate of 2percent is applicable to liquid assets which are repatriated into Pakistan. The amnesty scheme for domestic assets covers all types of assets and income, with tax rates of 2percent and 5percent.

The original closing date for filing declarations under the amnesty scheme was June 30, 2018. However, it was extended till July 31, 2018 later.

Under the scheme, around 80,000 declarants had whitened assets valuing Rs2.5 trillion through domestic and foreign tax amnesty schemes, while 5,363 availed foreign tax amnesty and 77,485 got domestic amnesty. Pakistan also received $366 million from abroad as cash on account of offshore tax amnesty scheme.

The FBR has so far collected Rs121 billion from this amnesty scheme including Rs44 billion on foreign amnesty and Rs77 billion on domestic amnesty.


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