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Benami Properties Act 2019

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ایف بی آر کو بینامی جائداد کی ضبطی کا اختیار مل گیا

Pakistan Government has implemented Benami Properties Act 2019 in line with its efforts for economy documentation. FBR has now been authorized to confiscate properties, vehicles and bank accounts registered with fictitious names. It involves all types of immovable as well as movable Benami properties registered to avoid taxes.

 Benami means the practice of holding properties or assets in the name of one person for the benefit of another. It is often aimed at concealing ownership of assets acquired through illegal means, defrauding creditors or evading payments of government fees, charges or taxes.

 As per the new rules (SRO326 of 2019), government has also announced hefty cash rewards for the whistle-blowers of the benami movable and immovable assets.

 In the first phase three approving authorities will be established in three cities, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi with clear jurisdiction. Under the Act, the commissioner of income tax will exercise the powers and perform the function of authority. Initially, the officers designated will investigate the available data to identify benami assets.

 In the first instance, the officer will issue a notice for attachment of the benami assets for a period of 90 days. During this period, the tax officer will investigate the case to make an FIR following identification of benami property or bank accounts etc. The FIR will then be referred to the adjudicating authority.

 The government has also announced cash awards for whistleblowers in detection of benami property. Three slabs of cash award have been notified. However, the amount of rewards will be sanctioned after confiscation of the benami property.

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