The FBR has obtained details of 150,000 foreign accounts owned by Pakistanis, including 400 accounts with over $1 million in them.
Notices are being sent to the 400 account holders and the FBR will be sending notices to the owners of the remaining accounts with less than $1 million in them soon.
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance was informed that this data is being analysed and taxes will be recovered from these account holders.
FBR Chairperson Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan said they could not say how much money would be recovered in taxes. It is estimated that the amount could touch Rs340 million.
Some people have more than one account, Khan told the standing committee.
He also briefed the members on number of benami (without name) accounts in the country. However, when the chairperson said there are 8,000 such accounts, a member of the committee, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, countered that the number is in the hundreds of thousands and that the FBR’s data was incomplete. The FBR will recheck their information and present a briefing to the standing committee at a later date.
He said the process of analyzing the data, both of the benami accounts and foreign accounts, is being hastened. The board is dividing account holders into categories, based on whom action should be taken against first. Each case is being evaluated separately.
The FBR chief told the MNAs that last week, they recovered Rs170 million in taxes from a single Pakistani. There are 556 other high profile cases also being investigated by the board.
He also said that banks are providing information to them on transactions exceed Rs10 million.
When committee chairperson Faizullah asked Khan about what happened about the hundreds of names that came up in the Panama Papers, he replied that the people have all been sent notices.
We have obtained the data of 450 people till now but we could only work on 15 cases, he said. So far, we have demanded Rs6.5 billion in taxes in the cases, Khan told the committee.
The committee said it was not satisfied with the FBR’s briefing and directed it to prepare another briefing on the case.