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Cabinet okays Tax Amnesty scheme Objective of scheme is formalisation, documentation of black economy.

Islamabad -- The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved a tax amnesty scheme allowing citizens to declare previously undisclosed assets in a bid to identify high earners for more efficient tax collection.

The amnesty scheme was approved in a session of the federal cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister in Islamabad earlier Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Finance Adviser Hafeez Sheikh said the objective of the amnesty scheme was not revenue generation but formalisation and documentation of the black economy.

'We have tried our best to make this scheme as simple as possible so people do not have problems understanding it and implementation is seamless,' he said. 'The philosophy is not to threaten or intimidate people but to encourage businessmen.'

He said that every Pakistani citizen - except for public office holders and their dependents - could avail this scheme to declare all previously undisclosed assets either abroad or in Pakistan.

Announcing the particulars, he said that citizens could use the scheme to whiten previously undeclared assets abroad by paying a 4% tax.

He said that a condition to declaring cash was that the amount be kept in a Pakistani bank account. He said that those who wish to keep the money abroad after getting it whitened would have to pay 6% tax.

For declaring properties, he said that value on which tax would be charged would be the market value, given that it is not less than 1.5 times the FBR-assigned value.

Hafeez said the deadline of June 30 would not be extended and that the scheme was the last opportunity for Pakistani citizens to declare previously undisclosed assets before the law takes its course.

He said that the scheme would also facilitate holders of benami (nameless) accounts and properties in declaring their assets before they are confiscated under a new law for benami assets, which also carried the possibility of prison sentences. He reiterated that it was the last chance for tax avoiders 'to try and come and avail this opportunity' before the law takes its course. According to details, the amnesty scheme recommends the following: Five per cent tax on individuals declaring assets by June 30, 2019; 10 per cent tax on individuals declaring assets by September 30, 2019; 20 per cent tax on individuals declaring assets by December 31, 2019; Recommendation for investment in Pakistan Banao Certificates for those declaring assets abroad

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Publication:Pakistan Observer (Islamabad, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 15, 2019
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