Discovery of undeclared offshore assets: FBR drops new bombshell

Discovery of undeclared offshore assets: FBR drops new bombshell

ISLAMABAD - The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in Supplementary Finance Amendment Bill 2019 has proposed to extend the scope of Section 123 of the Income Tax Ordinance for discovery of undeclared offshore assets.

A press release issued by FBR here on Friday said that this measure has been introduced in addition to measures already available in Income Tax laws, Anti-Money Laundering Act, FIA and NAB laws and, in no way, precludes or overlaps the jurisdiction of such laws and institutions.

It said that FBR enjoys powers to raise immediate demand and effect recovery on provisional basis in case of government confiscated local assets under Section 123 of the Income Tax Ordinance.

The scope of this section is proposed to be extended to discovery of undeclared offshore assets through the Supplementary Finance Amendment Bill 2019. Now the demand and recovery of tax on such persons can be executed immediately after receipt of information in suitable cases.

The measure is necessary to enable FBR to recover tax provisionally before the money moves out of bank accounts and the regular proceedings, which take about a year or two, follow.

It further said that it can also request assistance in recovery of such taxes from foreign jurisdictions wherever it has bilateral and multilateral agreements. This will ensure that FBR can request freeze of offshore accounts to other countries by conveying demand to such countries.

FBR is already in possession of information of bank accounts of Pakistanis from 26 countries and this provision will enable FBR to move swiftly in the direction of taxing people involved in holding of offshore assets.