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TI asks FBR to provide tax details of Malik Riaz Rs 225b

The Transparency International (TI) has sought details from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) about whether Rs 225 billion internationally declared by Malik Riaz of Bahria Town were included in tax returns of fiscal year 2009–10 and what amount was of due taxes was collected. A letter addressed to FBR Chairman Salman Siddique by TI Adviser Syed Adil Gilani sent on December 24, 2011 said Malik Riaz, in an interview with CNN on August 31, 2010, had admitted having assets of Rs 225 billion or $3 billion. The TI had earlier requested the FBR chairman through a letter on September 4, 2010 to provide the information with regard to payment of government revenue against Rs 225 billion in assets admitted to be owned by Riaz. The information requested was on the total value of assets of Malik Riaz, as assessed by FBR in accordance with Income Tax Ordinance 2001, and tax collected. The letter also asked that in case the assets of Rs 225 billion were not declared to the FBR in tax returns of fiscal year 2009-2010, had FBR taken action according to law to recover the revenue and charged penalty, if any, for evasion of taxes. The FBR did not respond to TI request for eight months, therefore, on April 29, 2011, a complaint was sent to Federal Tax Ombudsman against the FBR, requesting FTO to take action under the FTO Law. Consequently a reply from FBR was received on June 17, 2011 saying “This is to inform you that the information sought in respect of Malik Riaz Hussain of Bahria Town cannot be provided in view of Section 216 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2011.” The TI letter said it did not understand why FBR was reluctant to perform its mandatory duty and avoiding collecting due taxes on the declared assets of Malik Riaz. The copies of the letter have been forwarded to the public accounts committee chairman, federal tax ombudsman, NAB chairman, Supreme Court registrar and the auditor general.

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