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PTI’s Amnesty Scheme from April 15th

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan government has agreed in principle to launch an asset declaration scheme (Amnesty Scheme) probably through presidential ordinance from April 15, 2019.

The proposed scheme would cover declaration of undisclosed assets, Benami assets, sales and income before June 30, 2018, tax rates ranging from 5 percent to 10 percent with certain exceptions, assets to be valued at prescribed rates, Benami property declaration, foreign assets to be converted into money and remitted to rupee accounts in Pakistani banks/deposited into declarant’s own foreign currency bank account in Pakistan.

The distinguishing features of the new scheme revealed that the scheme includes Benami assets, includes sales tax/FED, requires tax return filing, balance sheet revisions allowed, litigation cases included, cash needs to be put in bank accounts, limit on gold declarations, bank credits in last five years included higher valuation and higher rates.

Under the draft scheme, the rate of tax for Benami assets may be 10 percent and foreign liquid assets repatriated into Pakistan, the tax rate may be 5 percent. In case of credit entries in own bank account, the tax rate may be 1 percent of the total credit entries from July 1, 2013 till June 30, 2018 or 10 percent of the peak credit entries during the said period whichever is higher.

For credit entries in Benami bank account, the tax rate may be proposed at 2 percent of the total credit entries from July 1, 2017 till April 15, 2019 or 10 percent of peak credit entries during the said period whichever is higher.

For any other assets, the tax rate may be proposed at 7.5 percent of the prescribed value. The implementation strategy may cover ownership by leadership, emphasising that it’s the last chance, followed by full scale prosecution, media campaign and enforcement drive (assistance of banks, Nadra is required).

The proposed conditions of the scheme may include filing of income tax returns — or revision thereof for 2018 and payment of tax, filing/revising sales tax return for last completed tax period and declaring last 5 years undisclosed sales and payment of 3 percent sales tax/FED, depositing the cash declared in a bank account and retaining the balance till June 30 and withdrawal of appeals/writs, gold and precious stones declaration shall not exceed value of Rs5 million.

The proposed details of the valuation of the assets revealed that the value for un-disclosed bank account would be taken credit entries from July 1, 2013 till June 30, 2018. The value of open plots and land flats would be the cost of acquisition or FBR values on April 15, 2019, whichever is higher.

The value for gold may be taken Rs5,000 per gram. The last scheme was mostly availed by filers and foreign amnesty scheme declarations showed 25 percent declarations in immovable properties in UAE, UK and Canada. In last scheme, people preferred to keep money outside Pakistan and local scheme was used primarily for money whitening.

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