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Banks to collect details of benami accounts themselves, says FBR chairman

Source: Daily Times

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman Shabbar Zaida on Monday, asked all the banks to gather details of benami accounts themselves.

A statement issued by the FBR claimed that the chairman wrote a letter to the head of the banks and asked them to collect the details of the benami accounts under theĀ Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act 2017

Furthermore, the board will not contact the account holders directly “so that people’s trust in FBR can be maintained”. According to the statement, information contained in the accounts will be kept confidential.

“Under the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act 2017, [the] FBR is responsible for identifying benami accounts,” the statement read. “If FBR and banks work together, better results can be achieved.”

The board highlighted the importance of cooperation from banks and asked them to submit all the information pertaining to the benami accounts to them within the deadline of 15 days.

The FBR had previously initiated proceedings against those who did not declare their benami properties under the Assets Declarations Scheme, which ended on July 3. The FBR officials had claimed that the act had been implemented to cease transactions conducted through these accounts which apparently run in hundreds of thousands in number.

Benami accounts hold assets and properties under someone else’s name for the benefit of the other person. However, these accounts can becomeĀ  means for tax evasion, defrauding creditors and concealing assets obtained through illegal means.