FBR to now investigate overseas assets without time restrictions

Revisions in law would aid FBR in investigating people named in Panama, Paradise, and Bahamas leaks


KARACHI: With the recently introduced presidential ordinance Income Tax (Amendment) Ordinance 2018, the one biggest impediment of time restriction of six years now stands removed.

The tax regulator has been given powers to initiate an investigation to find out the source of overseas assets held by Pakistani’s, irrespective of the period of ownership thanks to latest revisions in the tax law to unearth tax evader, officials revealed on Wednesday, reported The News.

Previously, Federal Board of Revenue was permitted to ask regarding the source of overseas assets of which they had received ownership in last six years.

With that stipulation removed, thanks to the latest revision in the law, the officials said they are now authorized to investigate investment of Pakistanis and their source of foreign assets, mainly those named in Paradise and Panama paper leaks.

The official said the tax regulator would probe foreign assets stated in Paradise, Panama, and Bahamas leaks.

This stipulation was removed in the original law after a Suo Motu notice taken by the apex court in February.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan showed serious reservations over the progress made by the tax regulator on overseas assets held by Pakistani nationals and noted many of the country’s citizens had foreign bank accounts and hadn’t disclosed them or paid taxes.

And the FBR official shared the revenue board had told the court about the limitations it faced regarding investigating the case.

Predominantly most of these cases were linked to properties owned before the last six-year-period, it hampered the tax regulator’s ability to net tax evaders.

With the law revised, the FBR is equipped to undertake an investigation into the source of foreign assets without any time limitation, the official said.