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January 19, 2020

FBR to get bank account holders details by end-January

Business

January 19, 2020

KARACHI: The era of accountholders secrecy has officially come to a close in Pakistan as banks all set to share their client financial transactions details with tax authorities by the end of current month, officials said on Saturday.

Banks will provide a bulk of information of financial transactions made during the first half of the current fiscal year following a landmark agreement signed November last year between tax department and financial institutions to check suspected undocumented money in the banking channels.

“Banks would provide details of transactions made during July-December 2019/2020 to the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) by January 31, 2020,” an official at Karachi’s Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) said. “Details of accountholders, who made transactions, including cash withdrawal, deposits and payment through credit and debit cards etc will be provided to the FBR.”

The FBR and Pakistan Bankers Association (PBA) on November 27, 2019 signed a landmark agreement that enabled the tax department to access real-time information of transactions made through the banking system.

Sources in LTU Karachi said the tax authorities would be able to detect large number of potential taxpayers through examination of data provided by the banks. The volume of banking transactions had increased substantially during past few years, they added.

It is worth mentioning that the deposits in the banking system increased to record high of Rs14.63 trillion by the end of December 2019 as compared with Rs13.35 trillion in the same month of the last year, according to statistics released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

According to payment system review issued by the central bank, the transactions during fiscal year 2018/2019 increased to Rs603 trillion as compared with Rs559 trillion in the preceding fiscal year, showing an increase of 8.0 percent.

The transactions through e-banking posted 24 percent increase to Rs58.8 trillion in fiscal year 2018/2019 as compared with Rs47.4 trillion. The paper based transactions showed Rs145.8 trillion and large volume transactions under PRISM system increased to Rs398.2 trillion.

Sources also said the FBR had already introduced provisions related to information of payments made through debit and credit cards, considering substantial increase in electronic mode of transactions.

They added that banks would provide details of customers including name, CNIC and address. Further, the banks would provide details of persons making transactions, which included: cash withdrawal above Rs50,000; deposits above Rs10 million in a month; Rs200,000 transactions through credit or debit cards in a month etc.