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April 24, 2019

PM adviser asks FBR to make assets declaration scheme attractive

Business

April 24, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Shaikh on Tuesday asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to make the proposed assets declaration scheme more attractive to bring maximum number of beneficiaries into the tax net.

The Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Hafeez Shaikh was addressing a meeting to review the assets declaration scheme.

The adviser directed the FBR to modify and refine the scheme by making it more attractive and persuasive “so as maximum people, who are currently outside the formal economy, are able to become a part of it,” a finance ministry’s statement said.

Shaikh directed the FBR to devise a successful communication strategy to enable the people to easily comprehend the contours of the scheme.

The proposed assets declaration scheme was expected to launch by the end of this month after a successful tax amnesty scheme last year that fetched Rs120 to 125 billion in revenue on declaration of local and foreign assets.

In April last year, the government announced tax amnesty scheme to give residents one-off tax benefits for repatriating undeclared local liquid assets with a five

percent penalty, undeclared foreign liquid assets with a two percent penalty (if repatriated, or a five percent penalty if remaining abroad or in foreign currencies), and undeclared fixed assets – whether held locally or abroad – with a three percent penalty. The scheme expired in

July 2018.

Tax officials are now expecting estimated Rs300 billion in revenues on disclosure of concealed local and foreign assets under the proposed scheme.

The meeting held to review the assets declaration deliberated on various aspects of the scheme and emphasised the need to make it more simple and implementable.

The participants gave their inputs and suggested that since the focus of the proposed scheme is on documentation of economy, it should be designed to clearly reflect the objective.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment Razak Dawood, Adviser on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Ishrat Hussain, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar, FBR Chairman and others attended the meeting.

The federal cabinet has already directed the Federal Board of Revenue to carry out consultations with experts of various sectors to make the scheme more inclusive and to reduce its complications.

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