Islamabad: Over 55,000 declarations have been filed under the tax amnesty scheme, amounting to PKR 1.8 trillion worth of hidden assets, according to a news report. The official details disclosed by the Finance Ministry have highlighted that the people have responded well to the domestic tax amnesty scheme as compared to the offshore scheme.
The domestic tax amnesty scheme was announced much later as the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) wasn’t giving it a go-ahead. A report by AF Ferguson showed that Pakistanis have USD 150 million in hidden foreign assets and hoped that USD 3-5 billion could be taken by Pakistan, however, only USD 40 million have been taken repatriated. The FBR’s spokesman Dr. Mohammad Iqbal said that the authorities could get up to USD 4 billion in taxes, but up until now only USD 800 million have been collected.
As Pakistan has become a signatory to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Multilateral Convention, it has access to all information regarding offshore financial accounts of Pakistani residents. The FBR will benefit the greatest from this. Amendments have also been made to the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 whereby the FBR can inquire people about their remittances above PKR 10 million.