Revenue body recovers Rs167 million from owners of foreign assets

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SOURCEThe News
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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has so far recovered Rs167 million from Pakistani citizens holding undisclosed foreign bank accounts and properties, its chairman said on Tuesday.

FBR Chairman Jahanzeb Khan told the Supreme Court that Rs167 millions had so far been recovered, whereas notices for the recovery of another Rs147 million had been sent.

FBR chairman was briefing a three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

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During the proceedings, Justice Nisar remarked that they were given the impression by the authorities that Rs3 trillion would be recovered.

He asked about the performance of the FBR. The FBR chairman informed the bench that they had set up offices countrywide to look into the cases.

Khan said there are 60 cases of foreign properties that are more lucrative and hence, there is a chance of retrieving huge revenue from the cases.

The cases will be dealt with on priority basis, he added.

Also Read: FBR traces alleged massive tax evasion by international contractors

On a bench query, FBR said Aleema Khan has not yet paid taxes/fine Rs29.4 million.

She could pay it till January 13. The Chief Justice observed that money should be recovered so that the country’s economy could further improve.

“We are entrusting FBR with the responsibility to bring wealth back to the country,” Justice Nisar remarked.

In April last year, the government announced tax amnesty scheme to give residents one-off tax benefits for repatriating undeclared local liquid assets with a five percent penalty, undeclared foreign liquid assets with a two percent penalty (if repatriated, or a five percent penalty if remaining abroad or in foreign currencies), and undeclared fixed assets – whether held locally or abroad – with a three percent penalty.

Almost 70,000 declarations for domestic and foreign assets fetched around Rs122 billion into the national kitty till July 31 when the scheme was expired.

Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), while submitting progress report, said it has identified another 96 individuals who have properties in the United Arab Emirates.

All in all, 1,211 Pakistanis have properties in the UAE and out of them 774 have submitted their affidavits, while 363 have been issued notices.

The FIA report further said 60 people could not be identified, 57 are not cooperating with the probe, and one is absconder.

Subsequently, the court directed the FBR and FIA to submit a detailed report on the matter by January 14, and adjourned further hearing of the case till then.

(This news/article originally appeared in The News on January 2nd, 2019)

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