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January 8, 2019

FBR launches mega operation against high net worth individuals

Business

January 8, 2019

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has launched mega operation against non-compliant high net worth individuals, which includes prosecution and arrests.

The Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi on Monday held a high level meeting chaired by Member Inland Revenue (Operations), FBR to discuss the high net worth individuals, who were either outside the tax net or concealed their assets in their annual declaration.

The meeting decided that each LTU and Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) would serve show cause notices to top 20 individuals in terms of the high volume identified of concealed assets. FBR sources said the meeting was attended by officials of LTUs and RTOs of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.

On the directives of Member IR one focal person has been nominated in each tax unit for dealing with the notices issued to non-compliant taxpayers. The sources said some notices had been issued, while the remaining would be issued in a day or two to give opportunity to be heard.

The sources further said that non-compliant taxpayers had been asked to appear personally instead of recording statement through their lawyer/council. “Any statement submitted through lawyer will be treated as invalid,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

The official said that around 140 notices would be issued by the LTUs and RTOs of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. While this exercise would be undertaken across the country, the official added.

“In case a person does not respond to the notice, then it has clear instructions for higher authorities to issue non-bailable warrants of the non-compliant taxpayers and arrest them,” the official said.

The official said the high net worth individuals had been identified through details of luxury vehicle purchases, high value purchase of immovable properties, banking transfers, and frequent foreign travels.

Sources said the FBR would be able to generate sizeable revenue from this exercise besides netting more taxpayers. The Federal Board of Revenue was facing immense revenue shortfall during the first half of the current fiscal year, they added.

Therefore, the revenue body has opened avenues for maximising the collection in the remaining half of the current fiscal year. Sources said the meeting had also discussed the off-shore tax evasion cases for which above 100 notices had been issued. They added that the FBR had identified around 3,100 high profiled off-shore tax evaders.

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