Tax Amnesty Scheme getting vast response


Zahid Chaudhary


Tax Amnesty Scheme was receiving encouraging results and its success would help resolving the current account deficit and balance of payment issues.
This was stated by spokesman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Dr Muhammad Iqbal on Friday while addressing a press conference here at FBR House. Muhammad Iqbal said the number of beneficiaries under tax amnesty scheme was increasing everyday.
He said under the scheme, the people could benefit by declaring their domestic and foreign assets as they would have to pay only a nominal tax under the scheme.
Under the scheme launched back in April, foreign exchange could be brought back to the country by paying a 2pc penalty. Fixed assets will incur a 3pc penalty, to be evaluated at the market value of the asset, which cannot be less than the cost of its acquisition. Foreign liquid assets like cash, securities and bonds held abroad and in local dollar accounts may be declared with a 5pc penalty. Dollar account holders in Pakistan who have purchased dollars with undeclared funds can also regularise them on 2pc payment.
Further, all remittances less than $100,000 per year per person will continue without any questions from any agency about the source of funds and enjoy tax exemption. All remittances greater than that amount will enjoy tax exemption but may be scrutinised by the Federal Board of Revenue.
Furthermore, any new foreign exchange accounts can only be opened by tax filers.
To a question, the spokesman said last date of the scheme was June 30 and he did not have any authority to extend last date of the scheme.
Iqbal said keeping in view the benefits of tax amnesty scheme, the caretaker set up was also fully committed to ensure success of the scheme.
He said government as well as public representatives were not eligible to take benefit from the scheme while people involved in different crimes were also not allowed to benefit from it.
To a question, Dr Iqbal pointed out that FBR’s mandate was to increase revenue collection simultaneously with the increased economic activities in the country.
He said the FBR was also taking special measures to simplify the taxation system to facilitate the taxpayers.
In this regard, he said the FBR would also introduce single page tax return for the salaried class.
The caretaker government, with its limited mandate to fix the faltering economy, in a recent meeting urged bankers and stockbrokers to play their role in making the tax amnesty scheme successful and the first dollar-based savings certificates for overseas Pakistanis to shore up the critically low foreign currency reserves.

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