FBR data shows optimistic response to tax amnesty scheme


ISLAMABAD: Rs21 billion had been raised till June 21 under the tax amnesty scheme announced by the previous government, a local media outlet reported on Saturday.

With a few days remaining before its expiry on June 30, Rs5 billion has been deposited in banks while another 16 billion has been submitted online via challans forms.

While it is too early to calculate how much could potentially be raised, officials in Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and finance ministry say that close to a 100 billion may be collected.

The caretaker government is under increasing pressure to extend the deadline which cannot be done under law.

A detailed report on the collected funds was presented to caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar on Thursday. FBR Spokesperson Muhammad Iqbal said on Friday that funds raised with the scheme would help in dealing with the current account deficit and balance of payment problems.

Initiated on April 10, the scheme allows citizens to disclose previously undeclared assets , with 2-5 per cent being charged on the assets depending on factors such as asset class, domestic/foreign asset and asset repatriation.

Pakistan had signed the OECD tax information treaty that becomes active from September 1, allowing for sharing of asset data with other countries. This has worried expatriates holding black money.

A Supreme Court bench is hearing a case over the issue though Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had previously allowed the FBR to pursue the scheme.