With reference to a news item titled ‘PTA recommends extension of mobile phone tax relief for overseas Pakistanis’ that appeared on some news sites, it is stated that certain aspects of the story have been reported out of context.
It is clarified that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has been working in consultation with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to develop a mechanism for overseas Pakistanis and Foreign nationals etc. whereby they can apply for temporary registration. The proposed maximum allowed time under this system for such applicants shall be up to 120 days on each visit to Pakistan.
Once this mechanism is operational, Overseas Pakistanis and Foreign Nationals may avail of this facility of temporarily registering their one mobile device on each visit to Pakistan without incurring any customs duties for 120 days.
However, if said device is intended for permanent use in Pakistan then it shall be subject to applicable FBR customs duties/taxes.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the PTA will no longer block smartphones if they are brought from overseas. The PTA has also requested the FBR to exempt smartphones from import taxes, reported the media outlets.
However, media outlets also reported that the PTA will only exempt one smartphone brought from overseas for personal use. Smartphones imported in bulk or for retail purposes, for instance, will still have to pay the regular import taxes for PTA approval.