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July 6, 2019

Tax amnesty scheme: 70pc beneficiaries are from Karachi, Lahore

Top Story

July 6, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Karachi and Lahore are still on the top benefitting from the tax amnesty scheme, as around 70 percent of those availing themselves of the scheme belong to these two major cities.

In the last amnesty introduced by the PML-N-led government, around 90 percent had availed themselves of tax amnesty from Karachi and Lahore with a share of 60 percent belonging to Karachi and 30 percent to Lahore. The rest of Pakistan had availed 10 percent amnesty.

In the latest asset declaration scheme 2019, the share of the rest of Pakistan has jumped up from 10 percent to 30 percent, indicating that the shares of Karachi and Lahore have shrunk compared to the last amnesty, while the shares of rest of Pakistani cities haveincreased. Small and medium size businessmen filed declarations to avail themselves of the latest amnesty scheme.

There are 80 percent who availed themselves of amnesty on domestic assets and 20 percent availed on foreign assets/income. Initial analysis done by the FBR shows that a major chunk of beneficiaries of amnesty in 2019 declared their immovable properties. The last amnesty in the PML-N regime was availed by those who had declared cash for availing themselves of amnesty.

However, the latest amnesty is different from the last one introduced by the PML-N regime because the scope of availing of amnesty was expanded to around 10 to 12 major cities of Pakistan including Abbottabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and other allied cities.

The number of declarations increased to 137,000 for whitening of a total of Rs2,500 billion assets/income of black economy. So far, the FBR has collected Rs54.7 billion while around Rs15 billion is in the pipeline, as the FBR’s system has broken down and work is underway to finalize collection on amnesty and revenue collection fronts.

The FBR expects that the total collection through amnesty might touch Rs70 billion. The revenue collection so far stands at Rs3,832 billion and another Rs10 billion might add into it as total collection is projected to reach Rs3,842 billion in fiscal year 2018-19 till finalization of revenue collection – a level achieved by the FBR in corresponding year of 2017-18.

Talking to this correspondent on Friday, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi said collection of money and last year revenue figures would be shared next week. He said there was need to revamp the IT system of Pakistan Revenue Authority Limited (PRAL).

To another query, Shabbar said he would be visiting Lahore today (Saturday) and data obtained from utilities companies for commercial and industrial consumers would be used to expand the tax base.

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