A senior official of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) revealed that they have received around 1,000 tax returns under the amnesty scheme announced by the previous government. The three month old tax amnesty scheme which was announced in April, has also been recently endorsed by the Supreme Court as well, who heard the case in its Lahore registry on Monday.
Abdul Qadir Memon, President of Pakistan Tax Bar Association stated that not many people have taken advantage of the scheme yet, since the majority of people are awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision regarding it. Now that the court has given its consent, he believes that more people will opt for the tax amnesty being offered. The Supreme Court will give its detailed order regarding the case shortly as well.
About the Tax Amnesty Scheme
The PML-N government announced a tax amnesty scheme back in April, which is expected to expire by June-end, that could give a one-off tax benefit to residents that repatriate and declare their assets.
Under the amnesty scheme:
- a 5% penalty will be levied for undeclared local liquid assets,
- For undeclared foreign liquid assets a 2% penalty will be levied if its repatriated, or a 5% penalty if they are kept abroad or in foreign currencies,
- for undeclared fixed assets – whether held locally or abroad – a 3% penalty will be levied.
Memon said the FBR needs to publish a clarification that the amnesty also applies for the past years. However, the amnesty cannot be availed for any assets undeclared during the period of July 2017 to April 2018.
The tax scheme is applicable on assets as on April 10, and would be continued till June 30.
An FBR official also clarified that a single person might avail amnesty for both local and foreign assets. However, those who have surrendered their Pakistani nationality will not be able to avail the scheme.
FBR further states that:
The tax regulator is authorized to publish any clarification on time period and “such power (is) only vested with the political government”. “The FBR is not empowered to even extending the last date for the scheme.”
Khalid Mahmood, President of Karachi Tax Bar Association said people are eager to avail the amnesty.
Mr Shabbar Zaidi, who was present in the SC, says that the court gave its nod to the amnesty scheme.