Govt convenes vital meeting to decide tax amnesty scheme today

April 23,2019

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ISLAMABAD: The PTI-led government has convened meeting of important selected stakeholders including top businessmen, chartered accountants and consultants on Tuesday (today) to decide the fate of proposed tax amnesty scheme.

The government is also considering slapping different range of rate for proposed tax amnesty scheme with maximum 15 percent till June 30 and afterwards doubling and tripling this rate up to June 2020. The stakeholders in the range of 10 to 15 have been invited for consultation in order to hold meaningful dialogue with them.

One top official of FBR confirmed to The News on Monday night that Adviser to PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh wanted to hold consultation with 10 to 15 renowned businessmen, chartered accountants and consultants to make up his final mind for launching of propose amnesty scheme before finalising fresh bailout package from the IMF.

There are total 55 million account holders in the country and according to rough estimates the ratio of Benami account holders possessed a significant number so there is no other solution but to give them last chance to avail the upcoming amnesty. There are two solutions either to confiscate Benami accounts with immediate effect or give them last chance.

“We have proposed to the government to provide longer period for availing this scheme as the rate should be minimum up to June 30, 2010 but it should be doubled for end September or December 2019 and it should be tripled for end June 2020,” said the official.

The number of return filers stood at over 1.6 million while number of account holders’ stands into millions. Some rough estimates suggest the ratio of Benami account holders might run into few hundreds of thousands so all such accounts could not confiscate in one go. The banking system might disrupt so there is no other option but to give last chance to such person who possessed Benami accounts, they added.

The federal cabinet had rejected the propose amnesty scheme in existing shape after holding two days meeting and then directed the authorities concerned to come back with further fine tuning of this scheme. In the meanwhile the former finance minister Asad Umar tendered his resignation.

Now the newly appointed Adviser to PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired a meeting on Sunday to review the proposed amnesty scheme. Now the high-powered meeting comprising of selected persons will be held today to firm up proposed tax amnesty scheme.

The PTI government has also decided to allow businessmen to adjust their balance sheets for bringing their real assets and income on books through availing upcoming tax amnesty scheme. The FBR, the sources said, was also working on profiling of those potential individuals who were living luxurious life style and living in posh areas but they never bothered to come into tax net.

“We are collaborating with Nadra and this data may run into few millions,” said the official and added that this data was still in raw form so they were making efforts to convert it into such profiles that might help the FBR to broaden its narrowed tax base. In the past all such efforts in collaboration with Nadra had met with failure.


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