Individuals with 'benami' assets can be sentenced up to five years, says Shabbar Zaidi

KARACHI: Honourary Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi has said that individuals possessing ‘benami’ assets could be sentenced up to five years in prison.

Speaking on media, Zaidi said showing one’s assets, including his residential property, in someone else’s name was tantamount to holding ‘benami’ assets.

He revealed that 300 major tax payers, including corporations, pay 80 per cent of overall tax collection of the country.

The FBR chief said the salaried class has 5-6 per cent share in overall tax collection. He said the FBR has set a target of more than Rs5000 billion for revenue collection during next fiscal year.

Speaking on the show, Deputy Chairman of Senate Saleem Mandviwala said the recent Asset Declaration Scheme by the government was also an amnesty scheme, which would benefit the country.

“The undeclared economy would be declared under the same scheme,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that President Arif Alvi on Wednesday signed an ordinance confirming tax amnesty for declaring undeclared assets.

The scheme is applicable with regard to undisclosed sales, ‘benami’ assets or expenditures, excluding pending cases of properties or assets, and gems, gold and prize bonds held by a citizen.

Those declaring assets would also have to pay 1.5 per cent higher that the scheduled tax by the FBR on immovable property inside the country.

Similarly, citizens would have to pay 6 per cent higher than scheduled tax on movable assets abroad.