Ayesha Amjad played cat and mouse with FBR for four years
An investigative journalist with Fact Focus
FBR digs out discrepancies in the wealth statements of COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s spouse
After a long sequel of mutual correspondence, FBR closed down one inquiry whereas mystery shrouds the outcome of other inquiries against Ayesha Amjad
FBR showed dissatisfaction with the source of income, mode of acquisition, concealment of properties, and transfer of assets as gifts from her spouse.
Ultimately, the officer dealing with the issues was changed and one inquiry was closed. FBR ultimately gave a clean chit to Ayesha and stopped asking any more questions
Official documents reveal that FBR had lengthy communication with General Bajwa’s wife, Ayesha Amjad, to reconcile her wealth statements from 2016 to 2020. Despite FBR’s efforts, Ayesha was unable to provide evidence of her income sources for her assets and her tax returns for the years 2014 and 2015. FBR eventually learned who Ayesha was, at which point they stopped asking for more information, allowing her to accumulate more properties without accountability.
Despite repeated requests, Major General Babar Iftikhar, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR), refused to provide the Chief of Army Staff’s perspective. FBR expressed concern over the source of income, mode of acquisition, concealment of properties, and transfer of assets as gifts from the spouse. However, FBR eventually concluded the proceedings abruptly, stating that all discrepancies in the wealth statement of the Chief’s spouse had been settled.
FBR initially asked Ayesha to provide evidence of receiving a gift from her spouse, which was resolved. Ayesha was also asked for evidence of tax deductions and non-declaration of property purchases.
Fact Focus provides a year-by-year breakdown of the correspondence between FBR and Ayesha.
Ayesha Amjad registered as a tax filer on August 10, 2016, according to official records.
[Complete documents are provided at the end of the story in pdf format]
Ayesha Amjad declared seven “Other Assets” worth 66,261,015 rupees in her wealth statement for the year 2016, but there was no detail provided about these assets.
Additionally, she declared a gift of 56,000,000 rupees and an amount of 4,700,000 rupees.
The FBR requested Ayesha Amjad to provide evidence for the sources of her income and wealth in the letters sent on December 06, 2016,requesting her to submit tax returns for the years 2014 and 2015.
In a letter sent on January 30, 2018, the FBR expressed concerns about the sudden increase in Ayesha Amjad’s wealth from zero to Rs 66,261,015 in the year 2016, as stated in her income tax returns. They asked her to verify the source of the additional income of Rs 4,700,000 and to provide evidence of the gift of Rs 56,000,000 mentioned in her tax returns.
The FBR also claimed that the assessment of her case under section 120(1) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 was erroneous and prejudicial to the revenue’s interests.
Ayesha Amjad’s response:
On April 2, 2018, in response to above letter from the FBR, Ayesha Amjad explained that prior to 2016, she had no income of her own and all of her assets and properties were included in the wealth statements of her husband, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. However, in 2016, her property started earning an annual income of Rs 6,969,600 and she filed a separate income tax return as required. The assets totaling Rs 66,261,015 were shifted from her husband’s wealth statement, but no physical transfer took place.
(There was no answer for the gift and other sources.)
The Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) requested Ayesha Amjad, on April 12, 2018, to submit a copy of the cross-cheque for the gifted amount of Rs 56,000,000 and the personal bank statements of both her and her husband, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to verify the source and channel of the gift, in order to proceed further.
Ayesha Amjad’s Response:
2 / 2
On April 17, 2018, Ayesha Amjad revised her wealth statement for the year 2016, correcting her previous mistake in categorizing the transferred assets from her spouse as “GIFT” instead of “OTHERS.” On April 18, 2018, she responded to the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) explaining the correction and submitted the revised wealth statement.
The Federal Bureau of Revenue sent a reminder to Ayesha Amjad on May 14, 2018, regarding her outstanding compliance in submitting the required information. The FBR noted that despite a considerable amount of time having passed, no compliance had been made. In her previous reply, Ayesha Amjad had claimed that the donor of the gift was a regular tax filer and their information could be verified from their tax returns, but this information was not appearing in the FBR system. She was given a deadline to submit her reply and warned that failure to comply in time and provide a satisfactory response would result in further legal proceedings.
Ayesha Amjad’s response:
On May 19, 2018, Ayesha Amjad responded FBR letter that was written on May,14,2018 and the compliance was due on May,21,2018. She informed FBR that she had already submitted a reply to the questions they had raised, and requested that the notice be withdrawn.
On May 19, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) responded to Ayesha Amjad’s previous response regarding the transfer of assets. The FBR stated that in her response, there was no evidence provided regarding the transfer of assets and asked her to submit a written reply with documentary evidence, including a Gift Deed and the income tax returns for both her and her husband.
Ayesha Amjad submitted her tax returns and wealth statement for the year 2017 on September 11, 2017, which showed that her “Any Other Assets” increased from seven to nine. This time, in response to continuous reminders and warnings from the Federal Bureau of Revenue, she provided details for two of the eight “Any Other Assets”. The remaining six were still not disclosed.
Ayesha Amjad was requested by the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) on January 21, 2020 to provide clarification about the discrepancy in her wealth statement for the year 2017.
FBR pointed out certain discrepancies by stating “ the wealth statement of the year 2017 reveals that you have shown total assets at Rs. 108,763,459 which as reconciled with the previous year assets at Rs.66,261,015 which includes the gift of Rs.34,785,000. Mode of receipt of gift needs verification whether it was received through normal banking channel or not”. She was also asked to submit the details of the donor including NTN number, wealth statement, bank statement, and gift deed.
Ayesha Amjad’s response:
As a response to the above-mentioned letter, Ayesha Amjad replied on January 28, 2020, that the amount of gift mentioned was also mentioned in her spouse’s reconciliation statement for the year 2016 and further stated that this particular amount was received from the buyer who purchased the agricultural land of her spouse, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. She mentioned that she had enclosed a photocopy of her spouse’s wealth statement with the letter.
Ayesha Amjad submitted her income tax returns and the wealth statement for the tax year 2018 on November 15, 2018. In her wealth statement, she declared fourteen “Any Other Assets” but this time gave details of eight of these assets and six remained unknown.
For the year 2018, FBR wrote a letter on December 16, 2020, mentioning that Ayesha Amjad had not declared the newly purchased property in her income tax returns and wealth statement for the tax year 2018, that she purchased. She was requested to give an explanation for the lapse and revise her wealth statement declaring the true particulars of the year 2018.
Fact Focus Finding: Ayesha Amjad purchased this four-Marla property from a person Rabnawaz Farid. His CNIC number was also mentioned on the FBR notice. Interestingly, Rabnawaz, 57, (53 in 2018), owner of this property, was registered as a taxpayer on June 27, 2018. He paid zero tax in 2018 as per the FBR record.
Ayesha Amjad’s Response:
Ayesha Amjad responded on December 25, 2020, and mentioned that she had declared all her assets in her wealth statement as required by FBR and requested FBR to drop the notice.
In the year 2019, Ayesha Amjad, had to declare all “any other assets” due to continuous notices and warnings from FBR.
FBR sent a notice to Ayesha Amjad and asked her to submit the complete documentary evidence of the tax deduction certificate for verification.
FBR sent multiple reminders to Ayesha Amjad to clear her position about their objections for the tax year 2016 and finally on December 24, 2020, closed the inquiry.
On October 06, 2021, when Ayesha Amjad submitted her returns for the year 2021, the FBR again issued her a letter for self-assessment of the same which remained unresolved as per the record available with Fact Focus.