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June 15, 2019

Undeclared accounts of housewives, students to face action

Top Story

June 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The accounts of housewives and students which are not declared in tax documents nor operated by themselves but by husbands and parents will face the required action by the FBR from July 1, 2019.

The government is set to start swinging into action from July 1 against those having benami accounts that also include accounts of housewives and students which are neither declared in tax documents nor operated by themselves, but their husbands and parents.

“And if such accounts are declared by husbands and parents in tax documents, then they will not be touched upon,” FBR official sources told The News.

According to one banker requesting anonymity most of the bank accounts opened in the name of housewives and students by their husbands and parents are used to corneal their banks balance from tax authorities. He observes saying that housewives and students do not maintain these accounts for their genuine needs but accounts under this category are used to conceal the bank balance of the people to whom these account holders are financially dependent upon. ‘Businessmen, retailers, and wholesalers usually maintain these sort of accounts showing the ownership of their spouses and children.’

Top FBR official sources told The News that banks will provide the accounts details by June 17 and after examining them the benami accounts include those opened in the name of housewives and students will be shortlisted as to which are declared and not declared ones. “We are persuading the account holders having benami accounts to get advantage from the Amnesty Schemes.”

FBR spokesman and Member Revenue Dr Hamid Atiq Sarwar when contacted confirmed that housewives and students’ accounts if operated by them and their bio-metric is done and the said accounts are declared by themselves or by their husbands or parents in tax documents and the said accounts are compatible with the incomes, then there will be no problems, but if the situation is otherwise, then they will be taken to task as such accounts will be treated as benami accounts.

Mr Sarwar said that banks will submit the accounts details with FBR by 17 June and then the authorities concerned will start scrutinising the accounts to exactly know which are benami and are not declared in the taxation documents and which are genuine.

When contacted State Bank of Pakistan spokesman Abid Qamar said that it is strictly between the FBR and commercial banks as central bank has nothing to do with it. Under the new law, the FBR has the powers to get information from commercial banks about the account holders details.

However, estimates say that commercial banks have amount of over Rs2 trillion in their accounts of housewives and students. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the overall deposits maintained by all commercial banks in their accounts stand at Rs13 trillion. Deposits maintained of self-employed account holders record the highest share of Rs2.85 trillion in the banking industry. It is followed by the private sector (mostly companies) with a share of Rs2.79 trillion.

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