FBR, PBA agree on sharing account holders information; banks to withdraw court cases

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has made major breakthrough regarding obtaining information of bank account holders ahead of FATF review.

The FBR and commercial banks agreed on sharing information of financial transactions by account holders, which was remained under litigation since 2013.

The FBR sources said that it would help the tax machinery to identify the movement of black economy and also ensure compliance to FATF conditions regarding prevention of money laundering and other fiscal crimes.

The FATF next review is scheduled in February 2020 to decide Pakistan status, as the country is presently in the grey list.

FBR chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi in a tweet message on Friday said: “On behalf of FBR, I thank Pakistan Bank Association and Presidents of all the banks for agreeing to withdraw pending litigation on the matter of furnishing of certain information. This positivity has been achieved by mutual consultation. A way forward of cooperation has opened.”

In a meeting held on November 27, 2019 at the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi which was chaired by FBR Chairman and attended by members of Pakistan Banks Association (PBA).

The meeting discussed the issued regarding information to be provided by the banks under Section 165A of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

The chairman emphasized that the Section 165A had been amended on the specific request of the PBA in 2014, 2018, and recently through Supplementary Finance Amendment Act, 2019.

Therefore, members should have no objection to the withdrawal of petition in the higher courts, the chairman said.

After detailed deliberations, the meeting decided that the PBA would withdraw their petitions from the higher courts and provide information under Section 165A after mutual consultation with the FBR.

The participants of the meeting besides FBR chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi, included Muhammad Aurangzeb, President/CEO, Habib Bank Limited, Chairman, PBA and Imran Maqbool, President/CEO, MCB Bank limited, Vice Chairman, PBA.

Representatives of banks who are also executive members of PBA were also present at the meeting.

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