Income from Dubai-based properties declarable, not taxable in Pakistan: FBR

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has said that income generated from Dubai-based properties is declarable but not chargeable to tax in Pakistan.

Replying to query raised by business community at a seminar organized by Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Asset Declaration Ordinance, 2019, said a statement on Friday.

In a query about rental income originated from Dubai-based properties IR CRTO team replied that double taxation treaty overwrote the domestic law and the UAE clearly stated that tax on rental income is charged by the country where income is originated hence rental income from Dubai-based properties are declarable but not chargeable in Pakistan.

During the awareness session, the IRS CRTO team led by its Chief Commissioner Shafqat Ali Kehar and consisting of Maqsood Jehangir, Commissioner IR Zone-IV, CRTO and Kashif Hafeez, Additional Commissioner IR Zone IV CRTO Karachi, made a multimedia presentation and elaborated salient features of the Assets Declaration Ordinance, 2019 and gave replies to various queries, ambiguities etc., as raised by the participants.

Regarding a query on Power of Attorney, it was replied that all immovable properties, which were transferred on power of attorney, would be declared as Benami property under the ADO, 2019 as the objective of the Scheme was to allow inclusion of non-documented economy in taxation system and to promote economic revival and growth by encouraging tax compliance.

The IR Team informed, “ADO, 2019 has been announced with the aim not to generate revenue but to document the economy in the background of Financial Action Task Force (FATF); revival and growth of economy through tax compliance.

The Team added, “ADO, 2019 is also applicable in undisclosed Assets and expenditures and sales and provides immunity from proceeding Under Section 111 of ITO 2011; the deadline will not be extended beyond 30-06-2019 ; tax can be paid in installment subject to default surcharge; Gold Jewelry, bearer prize bonds, securities, etc., are not required to declare, open plots, local immovable property etc., can be declared at higher cost of acquisition or 150 percent of FBR value or 150 percent of DC Value ; availability of carry forward facility of stock on 30-06-2018 to 2018-19 etc.

Engr. Daroo Khan Achakzai, President (FPCCI) hailed the Asset Declaration Ordinance (ADO), 2019 and termed it as a right step in the right direction with the objective to bring the tax evaders under the tax net; enhancing the country’s revenue base; documentation of economy; arresting the size of ever increasing black economy; mobilize resources and to bring dead assets in the mainstream of economy and make them functional.

He recalled that during the past six years, tax-to-GDP ratio has hovered between 9 percent in 2013-14 and 11.4 percent in 2017-18 to 10.8 percent in the current year 2018-19

The FPCCI Chief hoped that the government efforts to raise tax-to-GDO ratio to 12.6 percent in the next year (2019-20); documentation of economy and broadening of tax base would yield fruitful results as no economy can function without sufficient revenue collection and its thin tax base consisting of about two million assessees or 1 percent of total population has resulted in higher tax rates which provides sufficient incentive for tax evasion and corruption.

The FPCCI President informed that the ADO, 2019 had granted special treatment to the real estate sector and appealed to take advantage of tax amnesty scheme and document benami/ undeclared/ under-declared property and concede assets against concessionary tax payments.

The participants expressed their problem in filing of asset declarations due to non / partial functioning of FBR’s portal (IRIS).

They proposed for allowing Provisional Declaration of Assets by 30th June, 2019 and elaborated that the Scheme was announced only 45 days ago and as such the declarants who are not in a position to deposit cash due to liquidity crunch and filed declaration before 30-06-2019 may be treated as provisional and the assessees may be allowed to deposit the cash in bank accounts within 90 days.

They also proposed that at least 15 days may be allowed to incorporate or feed the declaration data in relevant Income Tax and Sales Tax Returns / profiles particularly when IRIS is not fully operationals and as such it will not affect at all the last date of declaration of assets.

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