ISLAMABAD: The tax department has been asked to probe service providers involved in the lavish arrangement of the social media dubbed “Rs2 billion marriage”.
According to documents available with this scribe, Chief Commissioner of Inland Revenue and Corporate Tax Office (CRTO)-Lahore Amina Hassan has written a letter to the FBR Member (Operations), disclosing the details of the elite wedding event that took place recently in Lahore.
She stated that last week, a wedding ceremony in the suburbs of Lahore went viral on social media, with the event being dubbed as the “Rs2 billion marriage”.
“The office has conducted a detailed investigation into service providers involved in the lavish arrangements. As these service providers belong to different tax office jurisdictions, it is requested the IR Operations send the information to respective regional tax offices so that the matter could be thoroughly probed,” she added.
Documents revealed that the venue of the wedding day, ‘Rosa Blanca Country Club’, had remained booked for 120 days prior to the wedding, receiving an amount of Rs150 million.
Rosa Blanca Country Club, a private limited company as per the SECP record, was registered in 2018. However, it has not obtained an NTN certificate till date, and there is strong reason to suspect that the entity is not paying taxes at all.
Through anonymous physical inquiry, it transpired that the business is, in fact, being run by United Events, as receipts are issued under the name of United Event City, described as a subsidiary of Rosa Blanca Country Club. Both United Events and Rosa Blanca are owned by Lake City [housing scheme] owner Gohar Ejaz, who had also served as the former chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA).
Similarly, Bahria Grand Hotel and Resort, the venue for Walima, is owned and operated by the Bahria Town. The CRTO requested the IR Operations to probe the tax deduction proof by the above stated companies as a withholding agent for FBR/PRA.
Meanwhile, the office further requested the verification of over Rs11 million paid to four celebrities on the occasion, including Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Abrarul Haq, Atif Aslam and Molana Tariq Jameel.
“On the other hand, Qasim Yar Tiwana, a high profile event manager, declared Rs216,743 income from business in tax year 2019, and that he was not a member in any other company. RTO Rawalpindi must probe the exact amount received for services.”
The CRTO, in its report, further stressed the need to investigate the exact payment received for services by Irfan Ahsan, Mobeen Studio, Osman Pervaiz and Ahmad Fayaz.
According to documents, leading photographer Irfan Ahsan charges up to Rs3 million for each high profile photoshoot, but had only declared Rs912,602 income from business in tax year 2019.
Moreover, the CRTO requested that FBR-Lahore and Faisalabad to also probe ‘Time & Taste Catering and Event Management Company’ as well as ‘Dynasty Faisalabad’, respectively.
“Shazray Khalid Events and Winc Events charge approximately Rs1 million for makeup services. RTO Lahore must probe the exact payment received against services,” it concluded.