ISLAMABAD    -   In a major development, Dubai Land Department has agreed to provide to the government of Pakistan details of Pakistanis who purchased properties in Dubai.

“We are pleased to inform that a very productive meeting has been held in Dubai on October 9 and 10 over the exchange of information between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai Land Department will instantly provide details of Pakistani owners of Dubai Properties,” said Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi on his social media account on Friday. He further said that the issue of Iqama abuse was also being dealt with.

The government of Pakistan was continuously asking the Dubai authorities to provide details of Pakistanis who had purchased properties in Dubai. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) last year had told the Supreme Court that 1,115 Pakistanis owned 2,029 properties in the UAE. The FIA DG had told the apex court that of the 1,115 individuals, 757 had submitted their affidavits, but 351 had yet to respond.

An official of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed that the government was working to identify non-taxpayers within and outside the country. The FBR has recently issued as many as 134,848 notices to high net-worth individuals across the country in order to persuade them to e-file income tax returns for 2019.

The FBR official said the government wanted to broaden the tax base by bringing non-taxpayers into the tax net. The Board had given an opportunity to non-taxpayers to file their income tax returns by extending the deadline for one month. The FBR had received as many as 438,564 returns until Sept 30 as against 408,381 returns received over the corresponding month last year, showing an increase of 7.4 percent. The FBR had set a target of 5 million returns in the current fiscal year.

The officials informed that the FBR would target the big retailers located in shopping malls, retail chains and stores having 1,000 square feet. The FBR will notify new rules for the registration and taxation of big retailers to restore confidence of the small retailers and shopkeepers. The new documentation policy would focus from registration of big retailers to medium-sized retailers in a systematic manner