The Assets Declaration Scheme 2019 will expire on June 30, 2019. It is reiterated that all persons having un-disclosed and un-declared assets and un-disclosed expenditure are strongly advised to avail the Scheme.
2.During the deliberations on the Scheme it has been observed that one of the major apprehensions of the taxpayers relates to the track record of working relationship between the taxpayers and the tax departments. It is admitted that same at present does not comply with international best practices. It is apprehended that the same kind and manner of relationship which is at time undesirable, will continue in future. The purpose of this release is to dispel that apprehension.
3.In this connection it is stated that the primary objective of the Government is to improve confidence/trust level between the taxpayer and the tax department. For that purpose some steps have already been undertaken which have been duly appreciated by the taxpayers. However, major corrective actions will be taken from July 1, 2019. Tone and purpose (for the same) have been identified in the Finance Bill 2019 and others will be disseminated in the procedures, circulars and the administrative reforms which will be made in the Federal Board of Revenue post-July 1, 2019. The primary theme of these actions is:
a)Automation of business process
b)Lack of personal interaction
c)Minimal possibility of abuse of powers and discretion by the tax authority
4.In this process the first step being ‘Return Filing’ and the ‘Sales Tax Registration’, being automated without any personal intervention/interaction.
5.In the Finance Bill, 2019 it has been ensured that the functions of ‘Audit’ which should an exception on risk-based criterion, and not a norm, shall be undertaken by a person different from the persons involved in enforcement. Accordingly, the process of audit and enforcement will be segregated in due course. This is a major redressal
6.Furthermore detailed explanatory circulars will be issued that there should not be any possibility of abuse of section 122(5A) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and any other similar provisions in the relevant statutes. It is also being ensured that first appeal stage be completely divorced from enforcement function.
7.Furthermore, the Government is fully committed to ensure the concept of ‘Self Assessment Procedure’ in the true spirit and relevant steps are being undertaken to ensure that there is no possibility of harassment of the taxpayers. It is reiterated that the primary objective of the Government is to create the confidence/trust amongst the honorable taxpayers. It will be ensured that same actions materialize and concrete visible results are apparent.
8.On the other side, in the past tax efforts of the tax department were concentrated on the ‘Information Furnished’ by the taxpayers and there was not sufficient/independent ‘Data/Information’ of the economic transactions undertaken available with the Government. The Government is concentrating its efforts to gather relevant information and is trying to further accelerate the process of gathering the data / information of the economic transactions including those being transactions in banking channels, electricity and gas connections, land records and other consumption data relating to expenses on travel, children education etc. as recorded in NADRA etc. and any other possible means in accordance with the international best practices. In these circumstances it will be difficult, rather impossible, for any person to undertake the economic transactions which remains outside the purview of fiscal/financial system of the country.
9.In these circumstance it is reiterated that any mis-apprehension about the manner of the operations of FBR in post July 1, 2019 and the availability of data with the Government be dispelled with.
10.The Assets Declaration Scheme 2019 which is simple to be availed in order to live in a peaceful, comfortable, and a civilized manner for the betterment of Pakistan. It is considered that the context of the aforesaid paragraphs will be considered with respect to the decision for declaration under the Scheme to be made by June 30, 2019.