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Tax amnesty

June 15, 2019

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A NUMBER of letters have appeared in these columns, emphasising that amnesty is unjust to taxpayers. But how unjust it really is has not been conveyed by any of these letters.

The sheer and almost criminal largesse shown to tax avoiding business community can only be appreciated if we run some numbers.

Let us say I am a senior salaried individual and I want to buy an eight marla house. This house will cost me Rs20 million with Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) valuation of seven million rupees. For simplicity, assume that I have saved Rs200,000 per month for over 100 months i.e., over eight years to buy this house.

And during this time my household expenses (house rent, car lease, fuel, utilities, schooling, food, health, appliances, furniture, vacations and other incidentals) will cost me about Rs300,000 a month. I will need a salary of Rs575,000 with Rs75,000 tax deducted each month by my employer to manage my finances. Hence over 100 months, I will have to pay seven and half million as tax before I can buy my dream house.

At one and half times FBR rates, the tax paid is almost 72 per cent of the property valuation. Compare it to one per cent offered to business community. So much for insaf.

And I sincerely apologise for making all taxpaying professionals feel like even bigger fools.

Mohsin Alim Qazi

Islamabad

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019