ISLAMABAD   -   The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has clarified that all individuals and the people associated with businesses, who have not yet filed their Income Tax Returns due to any reason, can file their returns now under Assets Declaration Ordinance-2019.

“This Ordinance provides one last chance to them to file Income Tax Returns,” the FBR said in a brief statement. It added that all government institutions including the commercial banks are extending their full cooperation.

In May 2019, the government had announced the assets declaration scheme and also extended the date of filing the tax returns up to June 30, 2019. An official of the FBR informed The Nation that the government has no plan to extend the scheme after June. It is an opportunity for the wealthy non-taxpayers to declare their hidden taxes by paying nominal tax to legalize their wealth. The government would take action against those individuals who would not avail the Asset Declaration Scheme-2019 after June 2019.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that the current amnesty scheme will be the last one and after which no leniency will be shown to those who will hide their assets inside and outside the country. He said: “No one will be spared after expiry of the amnesty scheme.”

Meanwhile, the FBR has directed its field formations that in addition to other measures that are being taken, there is an urgent need to take new measures on a top priority basis to unearth new taxpayers to broaden the tax base of the country, which is extremely low.

The FBR has decided to examine the data of bank account holders about the threshold of Rs500,000 with the assistance of State Bank of Pakistan. Similarly, data of all industrial and commercial power connections would be obtained from DISCOs and meaningfully extrapolated to ensure filing of tax returns by all concerned. Furthermore, information above all owners and tenants living in houses of two Kanals or more would be obtained. In this regard, the FBR would take assistance from the registration authorities, housing societies, DHAs and development authorities.

For broadening tax base of the country, the FBR would also seek information above all persons owning luxury vehicles of 2400cc and above would be scrutinized objectively. Data would be obtained from motor vehicles registration authorities and car manufacturers and car importers.

Similarly, the FBR would take information about frequent foreign travelers with the help of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NADRA. The FBR has issued all these directions to all chief commissioners after Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed concerns over the narrow tax base of the country and low tax to GDP ratio.