Amnesty scheme may be introduced for two months; may conclude before IMF program

ISLAMABAD: The government may launch much debated tax amnesty scheme for the last two months of current fiscal year and conclude it before beginning of IMF loan program.

Sources said that the government was intending to introduce the scheme for undeclared assets during the period of May – June 2019. The sources said that the IMF loan program, if agreed, would be implemented from July 01, 2019.

Earlier this month the finance ministry made presentation and recommended the scheme should be available till September 2019 in order to provide option to people to take benefit.

In a meeting held a day earlier with officials of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs discussed the amnesty scheme.

The meeting pondered upon the tax rates and duration for the amnesty scheme. However, the upcoming visit of IMF delegation by this week the government authorities would discuss the amnesty scheme.

The presentation made by the finance ministry earlier this month on the amnesty scheme. The main features of the proposed amnesty scheme as per presentation were:

– Benami assets

– Sales Tax and Federal Excise Duty

– mandatory return filing

– allowing balance sheet revision

– litigation cases would also be allowed

– amnesty to banking transaction will require cash to be put in bank accounts

– there will be limit on gold declaration

– Bank credits in last five years included

– the amnesty will have higher valuation

– this amnesty will have higher rates.

The draft of amnesty scheme also explained persons qualified:

According to it all companies and individuals can avail the scheme except: holders of public office since January 01, 2000, their spouses, children, brothers and sister or lineal ascendant or descendant.

Proceeds derived for commission of a criminal offence would be excluded for amnesty.

Cases pending before a court of law would be allowed with the exception of older pending litigation.

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