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October 27, 2020

Sugar dealer hides Rs21bln transactions from FBR

Business

October 27, 2020

KARACHI: Taxmen have unearthed around Rs21 billion of concealed transactions for the past five years by a sugar dealer and suspected money laundering involved in the case, it was learnt on Monday.

A tax official said the case was presented before the court. The court provisionally allowed freezing of all bank accounts of the dealer for 90 days and issued bailable warrants against the taxpayer.

The official said the tax authorities would present more evidence before the court in the next hearing scheduled for November 2. The tax authorities believed that the transactions of Rs20.8 billion during the past five years might be involved in money laundering, according to the official without disclosing the dealer’s name.

The sources said the taxpayer was registered with the Corporate Tax Office Karachi and managing around 18 accounts in different banks. Of that, 14 bank accounts are declared in wealth statements and annual income tax returns.

The Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation, Inland Revenue selected the taxpayers for thorough scrutiny following huge amounts transferred in the taxpayer’s declared bank accounts, said the sources.

A tax official said the taxpayer was registered as the proprietor and main business shown to the Corporate Tax Office was the dealing in sugar. The taxpayer was driving income from brokerage, interest and property. The official said the taxpayer showed nominal income during the tax year 2016 to tax year 2019. “However, third party information and data obtained from financial institutions revealed heavy transactions in the bank accounts of the taxpayers,” he said.

“The banking transactions through declared and undeclared accounts as per the bank statements have shown credit transactions of around Rs20.77 billion,” the official added. The official further said the taxpayer's annual returns revealed nominal brokerage, interest and property income. “However, the taxpayer’s assets increased phenomenally, which does not commensurate with income of such years.”

The tax authorities conducted examination of return for tax year 2018 and found that the availed tax amnesty was of Rs1.2 billion. “Despite availing amnesty the credit entry in the bank accounts of the taxpayers has shown Rs7.24 billion, which means Rs6 billion remained unexplained,” the official added.

A senior FBR official told The News previously the tax evasion in the sugar sector is massive due to large supply made to the undocumented sector. The FBR high-ups are silent over the issue of fixation of sugar price for sales tax despite the fact the retail prices of the commodity had skyrocketed, the official said.