Pakistan extends tax amnesty scheme deadline to allow people whiten their undisclosed assets, accounts

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Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Financial Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan announces to extend the tax amnesty scheme
Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Pakistan has announced to extend deadline for its tax amnesty scheme until July 3 allowing more time to people to ‘whiten’ their undisclosed assets including property and bank accounts.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Adviser on Finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, announced on Sunday that the deadline for the amnesty scheme, also known as as the Assets Declaration Scheme 2019, has been extended until July 3. Now Pakistanis both living in the country and abroad will have three more days to delcare their undisclosed assets and whiten them by paying applicable taxes. The tax amnesty scheme which was launched on May 15, was orginially scheduled to end today (June 30) but there has been immense pressure from people espcially the business community and the overseas Pakistanis to extend the deadline as they were confused about the scheme.

Dr Shaikh announced the much expected decision made the announcement during a press conference held in Islamabad. He was accompanied by Minister of State for Revenue, Hammad Azhar, and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairperson Shabbar Zaidi.

“We decided to extend the deadline as there has been a lot of interest in the Asset Declaration Scheme. We are giving people a final opportunity in case some people are still in the process or are facing difficulties wrapping it up,” he said.

All Pakistanis are required to declared their ‘hidden’ assets under the new Assets Declaration Scheme.

Though the Non-Resident-Pakistanis (NRPs) are exempt from paying any taxes back home on their income abroad, they are required to declare their assets if they cannot prove that they were bought with legal resources. They will also have to declare all their assets, including properties, businesses and bank accounts they have in Pakistan if they are generating income from them. The wealth that remains undeclared after the deadline would be confiscated and defaulters could also face prison time.

However, NRPs who have the proofs that they remitted money through legal banking channels to buy properties are not required to declare their assets under the amnesty scheme.

“If NRPs can prove that the property they own in Pakistan was bought with legally remitted money or the bank account they have in any Pakistani bank has money sent through legal banking channels, they do not need to worry as they are exempted from declaring them and they do not need to pay any taxes,” said Dr Mohammad Ashfaq Ahmad, Director General (International Taxes) at the Federal Board of Revenue. H

Dr Ahmad had come to Dubai last week to brief them about the tax Amnesty Scheme.Pakistani expatriates had also demanded during the briefing that the government should give them more time to delcare their asserts.

He had told the Pakistani expatriates that it would be your last chance to whiten your ‘hidden’ money and assets as there will be no more amnesty after June 30. He said the government would freeze the undeclared accounts, and also impose heavy penalties on properties whose money trail cannot be traced. Violators may also face imprisonment of up to five years. Dr Ahmad clarifies that those who lived outside Pakistan continuously for 183 in a year are considered as NRPs.

What is the tax amnesty scheme?

Under the scheme, assets within the country and abroad can be whitened after paying a rate of 4 per cent. The whitened cash assets will have to be kept in Pakistani bank accounts before July 3.

For people wanting to keep their whitened money abroad, a rate of 6pc tax will be charged.

For the declaration of real estate, its value will be considered 150 per cent more than the FBR-assigned value to bring it at par with the market rate.

You do not need to declare gold and precious stones, prize bonds and shares, and proceedings pending in any court of law

Applicable tax rates:

Tax will be four per cent on all asserts except domestic immovable properties

Tax will be 1.5 per cent on the total value of domestic immovable properties

For foreign liquid assets not repatriated, you will have to pay 6 per cent tax (NRPs exempted).

More information and to declare assets, visit FBR website: http://fbr.gov.pk



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