FBR suspends notices issued to builders, developers

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KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Director General Broadening of Tax Base (BTB) Tanveer Malik, on the request of Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD), has announced to suspend notices issued to builders and developers for providing details of allottees up to June 30 and urged ABAD to pursue investors for availing the recently announced tax amnesty scheme.

He was addressing a meeting at ABAD House here on Thursday. ABAD Chairman Arif Yousuf Jeewa, Senior Vice Chairman Fayyaz Ilyas, Vice Chairman Sohail Warind, Chairman Southern Region Altaf Tai, Commissioner Tax Miss Shazia, Additional Commissioner Mumtaz Ahmed and a large number of ABAD members were present on the occasion.

Tanveer Malik said that it is the fact that most of the black money is used in the sale and purchase of land and that the government will adopt stringent measures to widen the tax net from July 1 and strict action will be taken against people who hide black money. He said that there are only 400,000 tax-payers in Pakistan which is very low in comparison to the whole population.

He clarified that the purpose of asking for information regarding allottees from builders and developers by FBR was to widen the tax net and was never meant to harass builders and developers. While announcing the suspension of notices issued to builders and developers for providing information of their allottees up to June 30, he said that this issue will be solved with the consultation of ABAD.

Terming the tax amnesty a loot sale and inviting all people having black money to avail this unprecedented opportunity, he said that they will face strict action from July 1. He said that the target of FBR is not people from the middle class or lower middle class but it is after the big fishes.

Addressing the gathering, ABAD Chairman Arif Yousuf Jeewa said that the builders and developers are being harassed after the issuance of notices for providing information regarding allottees and they have started taking their money back after the publication of news in newspapers that the FBR is seeking their information which is affecting recovery of builders and developers. We fear heavy losses and this step of the FBR may stop all construction activities, he lamented. He said that if the construction industry is stopped, more than 70 allied industries will also be closed down due to which the economy of the country will suffer a lot.

Arif Jeewa said that the FBR can take all information regarding allottees from concerned departments as all such information is given to concerned departments at the time of registration of properties. He said that ABAD wishes broaden the tax base so that current tax-payers’ burden is reduced.

He said that information regarding allottees will be sought after the completion of projects to avoid losses to builders and developers. He further said that the government should take ABAD into confidence for broadening the tax base; and added that the property valuation, which was imposed by FBR despite serious reservations of ABAD has failed.