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July 11, 2020

What exactly Sarina Isa owns, how did she acquire London flats?

Top Story

July 11, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The wife of Justice Qazi Faez Isa told tax authorities that she transferred 0.698 million British pounds from Karachi to London to purchase her London properties during 2002 to 2013.

Her net assets worth Rs124 million were declared with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Mrs Sarina Isa in her first detailed response submitted the money trail, source of income and other relevant record of the assets after the presidential reference against her husband was quashed, sources said. "Mrs Sarina Isa has had total assets worth Rs124 million. Her total assets worth Rs45.4 million in Pakistan and Rs78 million abroad [UK]. She submitted certificates issued by banks (UBL & Standard Chartered) in respect of foreign currency (pounds) account showing deposits for the years 2003 to 2013 amounting to 671, 490 British pounds and remittances abroad during the years 2003-2013 amounting to 698, 002 British pounds," a senior official engaged with FBR probe team told Geo News on Friday.

She has submitted details of return of income, wealth statement and foreign income and assets statement for the tax years 2018 and 2019 in an effort to explain when, where and how she acquired her offshore, official further revealed seeking anonymity. She, however, did not give more details on this specific matter (London properties) as saying, "FBR is well aware of her source of income as she has been filer from early 90s."

In light of the Supreme Court verdict in the case, whereby the matter was forwarded to FBR, the office of Commissioner Inland Revenue and International Taxes Zone served notices on Sarina Isa (wife), Sehar Isa (daughter) and Arsalan Isa (son) last week.

Mrs Sarina Isa submitted a record of her salaries earned during her employment at the Karachi American School. She also provided details of the properties sold and bought in Karachi, including the taxes paid to the government on these assets.

Among her immovable properties worth Rs52,340,010, she disclosed her first immovable property worth Rs12, 020,660 with 50 percent share of children in 50-Coniston Court in London, according to her statement submitted with FBR officials. Second immovable property worth Rs19,181,050 with 50 percent share with her son in 40-Oakdale Road London was showed in returns while another moveable property worth Rs21,138,300 with 50 percent share with her daughter in 90-Adelaide Road London declared, read her financial statement for year 2019.

Sources further said that she mentioned the agricultural land gifted by her father. She also told the tax authorities that her husband does not have any link to her London properties, sources said, adding that she also stated that she declared the three London properties in tax returns filed last year.

Mrs Sarina Isa has had savings worth Rs21,650,000 in National Savings Center, DHA Karachi. She got receivables amounting Rs10,979,180 from her father in July 2018. The amount came through banking channel, informed officials said.

Mrs Sarina Isa also has had an investment worth Rs25,454,310, according to her financial statement. Her foreign income remained Rs4,731,076 in tax year 2019. Sarina Faez Isa also has had Rs25,454,310 in her foreign bank account in England, added the officials. Judge Isa's wife further revealed that she paid Rs1,386,510 in account of taxes in past two years, her FBR's record showed.

In her financial statement she submitted details of her national savings total amounting Rs21.7 million and its tax deduction certificates a well-informed officials continued to reveal. Mrs Sarina Isa also received Rs17,470,480 from her daughter who lived abroad in tax years 2018 and 2019, FBR's record showed.

In her agriculture property, she showed 24.7 acres land at Deh Korar, Tapa Zangipur Jacobabad. She also showed another piece of land of 148.21 acres in Jacobabad. Agriculture land was also showed in Dera Murad Jamali, commercial and industrial land in Shah Latif Town in Karachi and Clifton, according to financial statement. But she did not show her total agriculture income as it, according to her, was not taxable income.

Mrs Sarina appeared in person earlier this week before the commissioner in Islamabad to explain the family’s London properties matters. Commissioner Directorate of International Taxes AEOI Zone Islamabad Zulfiqar Ahmed and his team questioned the judge’s wife, where she said that all the answers are present in written form, sources said.

After the judge’s wife submitted the details, documents and record to the FBR, the authority said that it reviewed the material and most likely would conduct independent forensic audit of her income statements and to decide the further action. It is not decided yet either to send another notice or a questionnaire to her and her children, a senior official of FBR told this correspondent.

The Supreme Judicial Council had initiated proceedings over Justice Isa's alleged non-disclosure in wealth returns of three London properties acquired on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015. After a series of hearings, the apex court eventually dismissed the reference against the judge. The apex court asked the judge’s wife and children to respond with explanation of nature and sources of funds used to acquire properties.