FBR initiates inquiry against Benami property holders

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KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has initiated legal proceedings against owners of 56 properties in Karachi that might lead to asset confiscation if the income sources for buying are not explained, reported The News.

According to the report, the FBR initiated proceedings under benami law against 56 properties identified in Karachi. Out of 56, 36 cases were referred by joint investigation team, while remaining 20 were identified by the local office.

The tax department obtained information from third parties to identify the real beneficiary of such properties.

FBR sent notices to benamidar – the owners as appeared on papers of those properties – asking them about their sources of income to purchase the properties. Sources quoted in the report said the tax authorities obtained evidence of banking and other transactions used in purchase of benami properties. The tax authorities are also assessing the role of benamidars in purchase of such properties.

The tax authorities have also examined income tax returns and wealth statement submitted by few of those benamidars who possess properties with huge amount. According to the report some big names are behind the benami properties. Benamidars could not establish their ownership in response to the notices.

In a notice sent to benamidar, the FBR asked the role of benamidar, who had direct links in purchase of properties as directors or investors of some companies.

Sources quoted in the report said the local tax department is also expanding the ongoing drive against benami properties, which were identified through recent surveys and third party sources. According to the report, recent amendment brought through presidential ordinance would also help the tax authorities identify more benami properties.

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