PM Ashraf asks FBR to fine-tune tax amnesty schemes
05 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has directed the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) to fine-tune the two tax registration schemes that have been devised to allow legalising of undocumented assets, both local and foreign, and money until December 31, and present them to him again, our sources has learnt through sources.
However, the FBR claimed on Thursday that the prime minister has approved in principle both the schemes and it has been decided they would be introduced after parliament's approval. The FBR had on Wednesday submitted for approval the two amnesty schemes to the Finance Ministry. The schemes aim to allow whitening of undocumented assets and money and to offer the affluent people chance to get their local and foreign assets legalised by declaring them by December 31.
However, official sources confirmed to our sources that no approval has been granted to the schemes. The prime minister, they say, has been briefed on them and other administrative measures but he has directed the FBR to fine-tune these revenue generation measures and present them to him again. The two amnesty schemes are to be presented before parliament in the shape of single money bill for formal approval to give them backing of all parties represented in parliament. This decision had been taken during the prime minister's first visit to the FBR office.
FBR Senior Member Asrar Rauf said that the bureau has been directed to fine-tune these schemes and present them for initial approval from the federal cabinet before they are brought to parliament for formal approval. Those who intend to avail the amnesty schemes are to be given opportunity of tax registration for availing the TAS 2012, which shall be payable from October 2012 to December 30, 2012, at the prescribed amounts depending on the time of payment.
The persons availing the scheme in October 2012 would pay Rs 40,000; in November 2012 it would be Rs 50,000 and the taxpayers availing the scheme in December would pay Rs 60,000. In case the scheme has been availed in October 2012, "investment tax" of one percent would be paid for legalisation of assets; in November 2012, 1.25 percent, and persons availing the scheme in December 2012 would have to pay "investment tax" of 1.5 percent for regularisation of assets.
Once a person submits his declaration in the bank, he would also be given the facility for the next three years. Under the incentives for future, the persons availing the TR&IS will simply go to the bank and deposit an amount higher by 10 percent plus Rs 39,000; Rs 49,000 or Rs 59,000, as applicable. Thus, they will simply deposit 10 percent more than the amount paid in the preceding year along with income tax returns for the next three years. They would deposit the amount in the bank and obtain the receipt and no question would be asked for the next three years. A computerised balloting would be held in fourth year to select cases for audit.
If the elite owning immoveable assets feel that they are not liable to registration, they may file a representation on prescribed form with reasons and basis, and evidence of objection by October 31, 2012, before the concerned commissioner inland revenue within seven days who, after giving a hearing, will dispose off the same within seven days of its receipt, Rauf added.
He further informed that 2.3 million elite of the country did not even have an NTN number nor do they contribute a single penny to the national kitty. Under reforms, tax-avoiding elite of the country is to face major penalties like placement of their names on Exit Control List, cancellation of their passports, Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) and seizure of bank accounts.