Cabinet may exempt PM’s COVID-19 relief fund from income tax

ISLAMABAD: Amidst the outbeak of coronavirus in the country, the federal cabinet is likely to exempt the ‘Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Funds-2020’ from income tax.

According to sources, the Federal Board of Revenue has sought the federal cabinet’s approval to ensure tax relief for Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Funds-2020, as the federal government is empowered to grant exemption/relief from the imposition of any tax for the purposes of national security in emergency situations.

As per the sources, the FBR has requested the cabinet to exempt tax on any income derived by the PM’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund-2020. It has also sought exemption of any amount paid as donation to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, besides exemption to the fund from minimum tax on turnover under section 113 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

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Similarly, exemption has been sought from withholding taxes on any payment received by the Fund pertaining to profit on debt, cash withdrawal from bank, advance tax on banking transactions and advance tax through banking transactions, other than through cash, under sections 151, 231A, 231AA and 236P of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, since more than 186 countries of the world are facing the outbreak of this virus.

In order to effectively combat the outbreak of this pandemic and alleviate its adverse impact in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran had last week announced the establishment of the Prime Minister‘s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund-2020, wherein philanthropists and overseas Pakistanis were encouraged to deposit money starting from 1st April. It was claimed that the money collected from the fund shall be utilized to provide food and financial assistance to the people affected by COVlD-19.

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]
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