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Extension in FBR's amnesty scheme ends today

July 03, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran has repeatedly asked citizens to take advantage of the amnesty scheme and declare all their assets. — FBR website/File
Prime Minister Imran has repeatedly asked citizens to take advantage of the amnesty scheme and declare all their assets. — FBR website/File

The extension in the Assets Declaration Scheme ends today.

The scheme, which was rolled out on May 14, was supposed to end on June 30. However, the government decided to extend the deadline for the scheme to July 3.

Under the scheme, assets within the country and abroad (except for real estate) can be whitened at a rate of four per cent. The whitened cash assets will have to be kept in Pakistani bank accounts. For people wanting to keep their whitened money abroad, a rate of 6pc will be charged.

For the declaration of real estate, values will be considered 150pc of the FBR-assigned value to bring it on a par with the market rate. Similarly, the value of real estate will be considered 150pc of the DC value where the FBR value has not been notified or less than the DC rate. Moreover, under the current scheme, the persons are also allowed to enhance the declared value of immovable property.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly asked citizens to take advantage of the amnesty scheme and declare all their assets. He also expressed his resolve that the current amnesty scheme would be the last one after which no leniency would be shown to those hiding their assets inside and outside the country.

However, the prime minister had earlier hinted at extending the scheme so that more citizens could register for it. In a discussion with PTV on June 27, Prime Minister Imran noted that although it appeared that leaving things until the last minute was a Pakistani trait, he was "considering it [an extension to the scheme], because there's a lot of pressure, and lots of people are saying that there is too little time left to register".

The International Monetary Fund, on the other hand, did not approve of providing an extension in the amnesty scheme.

“The IMF is not in favour of tax amnesties,” IMF’s country representative to Pakistan Teresa Daban Sanchez told Dawn on Friday. “Cross country experience shows that tax amnesties have usually huge costs, such as undermining taxpayers’ morale and sense of fairness, that more than offset potential short-term gains”.