The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will have access to the family tree database of citizens maintained by NADRA to catch the dodgers and classify the property correctly as Benami under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 2017.
According to the comments of renowned tax expert Ashfaq Tola on Benami law here on Saturday, Benami transactions in Pakistan are generally undertaken to park untaxed money. Accordingly, in such cases, the immediate and future, direct and indirect, benefit of the property acquired from untaxed money lies with a person other than the person reflected as owner, whereas the consideration for the acquisition of the property is paid out of untaxed money by the person holding beneficial rights other than the person who is reflected as having ostensible right in the property.
The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 2017 has been introduced to provide the right to the government to identify Benami transactions and 'confiscate' the properties held in Benami. This is a step to abolish parking space for money generated from untaxed income. However, following transactions and arrangements have been excluded from the purview of Benami transactions and arrangements [exclusions]: Properties held by a person in fiduciary capacity; properties acquired out of the known sources of income by an individual in the name of spouse or in the name of any child of such individual; and properties acquired in the joint name of an individual and his brother or sister or lineal ascendant or descendent and acquired from the known sources of income of the individual.
The Parliament passed the law in February 2017 that authorises authorities to confiscate the Benami properties but the Finance Ministry and the FBR have not yet notified the rules to make it operational. Now, the finance minister has decided to give FBR access to the family tree database of citizens maintained by NADRA to catch the dodgers and classify the property correctly as Benami or exclusions under the Act, Ashfaq Tola added.