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May 22, 2018

FBR identifies 50,000 tax evaders in real estate

Top Story

May 22, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has identified 50,000 potential tax dodgers through mapping of plazas in posh areas and getting data from the land registration authorities, directing under filers to avail themselves of Tax Amnesty scheme and warned those who would not declare assets before the expiry of the amnesty from July 1, 2018 of dire consequences.

With the identification of massive 50,000 cases of real estate all over the country, the Tax Amnesty at the domestic front can achieve success provided the Supreme Court puts its weight behind this amnesty by clearing all the existing confusions and doubts about it.

For the first time in the country’s history, the FBR has undertaken to broaden the tax base seriously and got some positive results. After a massive reduction in the income tax rates and jacking up taxable ceiling up to Rs1.2 million, the FBR has been left with no other option but to simplify its tax system and ensure compliance of new taxpayers, otherwise the whole tax structure will be at stake from the next fiscal year, said the official.

“There are some glaring examples where owners of plazas have sold hundreds of flats and malls but did not bother to declare that in their returns,” said a top FBR official while talking to The News here on Monday.

No stern action will be taken against them until the expiry of the existing Tax Amnesty scheme on June 30, 2018. After July 1, 2018 the FBR will move its long arm of law against the potential tax evaders. “We have identified 50,000 potential cases in real estate where massive under declaration has been found. For instance, there are owners of shopping malls and plazas having units in the range of 200 to 1,000 in one plaza but they have declared peanuts in their filed returns. The records show transaction of billions of rupees without any record with the tax authorities,” a top FBR official confided to The News here on Monday.

The FBR, the sources said, had surveyed plazas in the posh areas of major cities where 50 to 100 big investors have invested money in each of the plazas. “We have obtained records of around 1,000 members of the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) with details of projects executed by them inthe country,” said the official.

The FBR has also got details from the Sindh Building Control Authority of about 2,500 projects which they approved in the last five years. “The FBR has also managed to get details from DHA Karachi, Bahria Town Karachi and others,” said the official. “We have obtained transaction details of about 50,000 cases and confronted them. We have directed the taxpayers to avail the tax amnesty scheme and whiten the undeclared assets otherwise the FBR will move with an iron hand against the potential dodgers from July 1, 2018,” said the official.

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