FBR suggested reduction in tax rates for equity funds

FBR suggested reduction in tax rates for equity funds

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been suggested to reduce income tax rates for private equity funds in the upcoming budget 2022/2023.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in its proposals for budget 2022/2023, stated that Revamped regulations in 2015 introduced different types of Private Funds by replacing Private Equity and Venture Capital (PE&VC) Regulations.

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Currently, pass-through status under the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 is available to only PE&VCs category. Moreover, current sunset clause up to June 2024 for PE&VC is detracting long-term investors from participating.

A private fund (alternate fund) investing in listed securities attract Capital Gain Tax (CGT) at the rates that applies to unlisted securities (redemption of units of alternate funds will attract treatment of unlisted security under CGT regime, which is significantly higher for corporate investors).

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The PSX suggested to insert proper definition of Private Fund referring to 2015 regulations. It also suggested to reinstate exemption to PE&VC as provided under clause 101 of part I of Second Schedule; in addition to: inclusion of Private Fund; and no sun-set clause.

The PSX recommended that specific rate of 12.5 per cent CGT be provided in Division VII of 1st Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 as provided for mutual funds, CIS and REITs (if more than 70 per cent invested in listed equity securities and/or debt securities).

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The stock exchange also sought exemption provided in sub-clause (xii) of clause 11A and clause 47B of Part IV of the second schedule to include Private Fund.

Giving rationale to the proposals, the PSX said that this sector can be developed with rational taxation. So far only 4 registered PE&VC funds will be unable to meet funding needs of SMEs/startups & to attract foreign investors. Revenue impact will be neutral to positive as only CIVs will be exempted but the investors will still be obliged to pay tax. The amendment will exempt private funds from applicability of withholding tax as it is a pass through entity.

READ MORE: PSX proposes rationalizing tax rates for listed companies

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