KTBA urges prime minister for extending amnesty scheme for one month

KARACHI: Tax practitioners of Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) have urged Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to extend the last date for availing tax amnesty scheme to July 31, 2019 from existing June 30, 2019.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday, the KTBA requested for extension of due date for filing of Assets Declaration Scheme 2019.

It said that the last date to avail the Assets Declaration Scheme 2019 (Amnesty Scheme 2019) is expiring in the next two days while there still lies innumerable cases of taxpayers who are yet to file their Amnesties but for the reason of paucity of time and extremely slow speed of the IRIS Software of the FBR.

The KTBA said that the Foreign Amnesty Scheme was launched by the government through an Ordinance on May 14, 2019 whereby a 47 days window was available to declare foreign and local assets and expenditure.

Though the Ordinance was promulgated on May 14, 2019 but the filing under the Scheme accelerated only after the launch of the online Citizen Profile on NADRA and Tax-Profile on FBR on its “Malumaat” application which took the public in general by surprise and after which considerable discomfort and anxiety echoed in the ranks, which resulted in the radical change in the perception of seriousness of the Amnesty drive by the FBR as was factually reflected by it.

However, since all these announcements were made only a few days before the June 30 which left very short time to fill in and to file the Amnesty even if someone genuinely wants to.

Had these announcement been made earlier, the desired level of momentum which is visible today could be seen earlier as well.

It is germane to mention here that the decision to upload the personal data of around 53 million citizens online was also taken without following a stakeholder process and is quite concerning among the public that also created panic on the way to avail the benefits of the scheme.

Further, FBR and the SBP’s delayed response on the clarifications for implementation of scheme like foreign currency remittance/accounts etc, is also delaying the process of declaration filing.

In view of the above it is requested to kindly give directions to the ministry to extend the date of filing of Amnesties till July 31, 2019.

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