Properties in UK: 75pc FBR notices issued to people from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: The people belonging to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are on top on account of receiving 75 percent tax notices from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for owning expansive properties in UK out of total 600-700 properties.
This information has been shared by the UK tax authorities in a pilot project undertaken with the grant assistance of UK based Department for International Development (DFID). “Over 30 percent or 200 tax notices have been served by FBR alone in Karachi to ascertain whether the owners of expansive properties were return filers or non-filers. The UK tax authority has shared names and addresses of owners but we do not have details of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) so we have sent them simple letter to seek CNIC number National Tax Number (NTN) and inquire them whether they are return filers or not,” one top official of FBR told The News here on Monday. Total properties’ details shared by the UK authorities stood at 600 to 700 but some individuals owned two to three properties so number of sent notices would be standing at around 600.
FBR Chairperson Rukhsana Yasmeen announced on Monday that the FBR kick-started departmental proceedings against those Pakistani nationals owning immoveable property in the UK. This action was underway against those who have not availed themselves of foreign amnesty scheme. FBR chairperson stated that these information was shared by UK tax authority HMRC with the FBR.
The FBR developed a software with the grant of UK based DFID for receiving information through automatic exchange portal from OECD forum and all the required mechanisms are in place to use the information against those who have not availed themselves of the amnesty scheme for declaration of foreign assets.
The FBR official said that three major cities including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad were on top where the individuals owning immoveable properties received maximum tax notices from the FBR. Under the OECD (Organization for Economic Development) mechanism for automatic exchange of information (AEI), the FBR has established its six centers in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Quetta and Peshawar and the FBR also established its centralised system to track down regular progress and avoiding element of any harassment on part of tax machinery.
“We have sent them letters for giving them 15-day notice to reply us back,” said the official and added that the FBR assigned them tasks to accomplish assessment in all these cases within 3 months period and generate genuine tax demands.
Through these tax notices, the FBR official said that these are intimation letters seeking basic information from individuals owing properties or earning rental income in the UK. “We are seeking information about the immovable properties, status of filer or non-filer, CNIC/NTN etc. After verifying required information, proper notices would be served as per law, if required”, they added. Under confidentiality clauses, the FBR cannot disclose exact number and details of the obtained information from the UK Tax authorities under the OECD mechanism. If confidentiality clauses was breached, the FBR would not be able to get any future information so the FBR ensured security and foolproof arrangements to protect the information from any leaks.