Pakistanis holding secret UAE Iqama to land in big trouble
ISLAMABAD - Pakistanis holding secret UAE Iqama to land in big trouble as FBR has sought details from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities of thousands of Pakistani nationals who have acquired “iqama” (residential/work permit).
In a letter to the UAE Ministry of Finance, the Federal Board of Revenue said it was seeking data of those “who may have siphoned off funds illegally from Pakistan, parked them in the UAE , and are now hiding behind iqama-based residential status”.
In the letter, the FBR’s directorate of internal taxes said information already received from the UAE was “not very substantial” as details of only 3,620 accounts were reported and “the number of material accounts with substantial balance is negligible”.
“This is not only contrary to our expectations but also insignificant in comparison with Pakistan’s other exchange partners,” the FBR wrote in the letter.
“The internal deliberations on the matter indicate that it might be due to the UAE’s domestic laws which allow foreign nationals to obtain residence/iqama on the basis of investment beyond a certain threshold. This may be pointed out that we have absolutely no problem with the Pakistani nationals investing and doing business in the UAE legally with lawfully remitted funds,” it added.
However, the FBR wrote that it was “gravely concerned with the persons who may have siphoned off funds illegally from Pakistan, parked them in the UAE and now hiding behind iqama-based residential status to circumvent reporting under the CRS”.
“This is of course not a desired situation for both countries, particular for Pakistan,” it added.
The FBR requested the UAE ministry to guide and assist it in the matter. “Article 26 and 27 of Pakistan-UAE DTA support formal and structured deliberations on a matter of mutual or a unilateral concern,” added the FBR in the letter sent to Younis Haji Alkhoori, under-secretary at the UAE Ministry of Finance.