Govt To Go Ahead with Tax Amnesty Scheme Before the IMF Release Program
ISLAMABAD: The government's proposed amnesty scheme for a declaration of assets will continue with no major changes despite the change of finance minister. It will be completed before the International Monetary Fund's release program starts on 1 July.
This was the core of a special meeting on the subject here on Sunday, chaired by Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the new advisor to the Prime Minister of finance. Finance Secretary Mohammad Younas Dagha, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar, Federal Revenue President Dr Jehanzeb Khan, and others attended this meeting.
“The tenure of the amnesty scheme cannot be allowed to go beyond June 30,” a senior official told after the meeting over the demand to make it more liberal made by some leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
“The scheme has to be concluded before the start of the IMF programme,”
Adding that Mr Shaikh suggested no change in tax rates on the declaration of hidden assets, he wants simplification of procedure, the official said.
The finance consultant wanted it to be a people-friendly scheme, to help document the economy and put more non-filers in the tax net rather than just generating funds. He directed the FBR to refine the scheme to facilitate the comprehension and the easy implementation of the scheme, an official statement stated that the aim of the plan was to increase fiscal compliance and documentation in the economy.
The scheme will be available to everyone, except three major groups — who held Public office since Jan 1, 2000, as a result of a commission of a crime; and pending cases before a court of law with the exception from older litigation pending; Their wives, children, brothers and sisters or lineal descendants.
The amnesty scheme has four main goals. It will help to declare and report unrevealed assets, sales and incomes “for the fresh start of a tax-compliant economy”. It will provide economic stimulus through the movement of funds, reduce litigation and enhance revenues without much effort.
PTI Govt’s Launched Its First Amnesty Scheme On April 7, 2019, With The Then Finance Minister Asad Umer.
Before that, in 2018 the amnesty scheme announced by then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi collected Rs124 billion in taxes from a total of 82,889 people who declared assets worth Rs2.5 trillion despite legal challenges and sunset period of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government and threats by the PTI to reverse the scheme and take action against beneficiaries.
A total of 76,960 domestic assets were declared last year, involving a total value of Rs1.460tr and tax amount of about Rs77bn. Likewise, 5,929 foreign assets worth Rs1.04tr came to the government record, contributing Rs47bn ($436 million) revenue to the national treasure.