ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Information Commission’s (PIC) landmark order has been implemented by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which disclosed the number of individuals and companies who availed benefits from the ‘Zero Percent Tax Amnesty Scheme’ given during the tenure of former premier Nawaz Sharif.
The data disclosed that under the past amnesty scheme under question, 19 taxpayers availed the benefit of clause (86) of Part-IV of the Second Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 involving an amount of Rs 1.9 billion.
The PIC order was issued after a tax lawyer, Waheed Shahzad Butt, lodged a complaint against the FBR, alleging that the agency was trying to hide crucial information.
The appellant, Waheed Shahzad Butt, had also previously approached the LHC and the Federal Tax Ombudsman, seeking disclosure of information pertaining to companies and persons, who availed the Clause 86 of Second Schedule to the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, and the amount introduced under it at zero percent income tax.
Earlier, the PIC has also issued notice for imposing a penalty to the extent of 100 days’ salary to chairman FBR for default on the part of FBR for hiding information about beneficiaries of the amnesty scheme issued during the tenure of Nawaz Sharif.
When contacted, Waheed informed that the government, instead of entertaining any such scheme, should seriously consider introducing an “asset-seizure scheme” to confiscate undeclared and untaxed assets created from black money.
The FBR finally agreed to adhere to the law and released the sacred information in accordance with the order issued by the PIC. These contributions have not only resulted in concrete action but have also strengthened the credibility and reputation of PIC, Waheed Butt added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023