FBR, PBA to discuss, resolve access to bank accounts

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Bankers Association (PBA) will discuss and resolve the matter pertaining to information of bank account holders.

Senior officials at Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

They said that the matter of obtaining financial transactions by account holders had been stayed by the court of law for the past many years.

However, in the latest hearing on November 07, 2019 the court directed the FBR and PBA to find out solution and present in the next hearing i.e. November 21, 2019, they said.

Through Finance Act, 2013 Section 165A was inserted to Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 making it mandatory for banks to provide details of transactions made by their account holders.

As per law the banks are bound to provide details of account holders, included: a list of persons making cash withdrawal of Rs50,000 per day or over Rs1 million in a month; deposits of Rs10 million in a month; credit card payment of Rs250,000 per month; persons receiving profit on debt above Rs500,000 in a year.

The laws in Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 have superseded other laws including Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962; the Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992; the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 etc. yet the banks were not providing the details on the grounds of various excuses.

It is interesting to note that Chairman FBR held many meetings with banks during past three months but the matter was still unresolved.

FBR chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi recently asked the banks to provide details of those individuals who invested in government securities through banks.

The LTU officials said that the issue would be resolved soon and banks would start transmitting details of financial transactions made by bank account holders.

Pakistan has large undocumented economy and undisclosed money is believed to be parked in banking system.

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