Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Pakistanis legalize Rs1 trillion foreign assets in amnesty scheme: report


DUBAI: Pakistan nationals have legalized their assets worth Rs1 trillion in foreign jurisdiction including Rs346 billion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), highest in a foreign country, Khaleej Times said in a report.

The assets whitened by Pakistanis in UAE, accounting for over one-third (34.5 per cent) of the total whitened foreign assets in the Assets Declaration Scheme, the paper said.

Overseas Pakistanis have expressed their trust over the amnesty scheme launched by the PTI government.

Switzerland with its Rs114.8 billion legalized assets was next highest to the UAE, the report said.

While in the UK Rs89.7 billion, Singapore Rs87.3 billion and British Virgin Islands Rs48.9 billion assets were whitened, Director General for international tax at Federal Board of Revenue Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed said in an interview with Khaleej Times.

He said most of the foreign assets owned by the Pakistanis is parked here that’s why we chose this place to send the message to Pakistani nationals across the world that they have less than one week to benefit from tax amnesty and declare all their undeclared assets.

“On a bilateral arrangement, the UAE and Pakistan share full details of the property. As far as bank details are concerned, they are shared automatically,” FBR official said.

The purpose of the amnesty scheme, which will end on June 30, 2019, is to allow the non-documented economy’s inclusion in the taxation system to trigger economic revival and growth by encouraging a tax compliance in the economy, Ahmed had earlier said while addressing the community and media personnel in Dubai.

He revealed that some reports indicated a massive informal economy, estimated to be around 80-90 per cent of the formal GDP.

“Hence, the government decided to give a new lease of life to economy and introduced amnesty. All the overseas Pakistanis have to declare their earnings being generated in Pakistan and file tax returns,” he said.

He said it is an era of transparency and developed countries have ended secrecy jurisdictions and developed a framework for sharing information of their residents’ assets in those countries.

“Last year, Pakistan received information from 28 countries and UAE was one of them. This year, we are going to receive from 71 countries. In the next two to three years, the number could go beyond 100 countries with whom Pakistan will exchange this information,” he said.


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