Ayesha Amjad played cat and mouse with FBR for four years

Amara Shah

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

Amara Shah

Official documents reveal that to reconcile her wealth statements during the years 2016 to 2020, the FBR carried out protracted and hectic correspondence with General Bajwa’s wife, Ayesha Amjad. 

FBR remained unable to convince Ayesha to file tax returns for the years 2014 and 2015 and provide evidence of sources of income for the assets she was buying. Ultimately, FBR came to know who Ayesha Amjad was. At this point, FBR stopped making any further questions to Ayesha and she continued to add more properties to her list without being accountable.

Major General Babar Iftikhar, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR) was repeatedly approached to get the version of the Chief of Army Staff but he avoided responding to any query.

In various letters dispatched to the Chief’s spouse, the FBR showed dissatisfaction with the source of income, mode of acquisition, concealment of properties, and transfer of assets as gifts from her spouse. However, in the end, the FBR closes their proceedings abruptly as they deem that all the discrepancies found in the wealth statements of the Chief’s spouse have duly been settled. FBR’s initial notice was based on a misunderstanding in the bureau asking Ayesha to furnish evidence of receiving a gift from her spouse. Some of the properties declared by Ayesha in 2016, her first-ever tax return and wealth statement, were transferred from the wealth statement of her husband to her wealth statement. She declared it a “gift” and FBR officials started asking her about documentary evidence of receiving a gift through the proper channel. However, this matter was resolved. Notices were also issued to Ayesha asking her for evidence of tax deductions, and non-declaration of purchase of a property.

Fact Focus brings out year-wise detail of the aforesaid mutual correspondence. 

Ayesha Amjad, the wife of COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, registered as a tax filer on August 10, 2016.

 

[Complete documents are provided at the end of the story in pdf format]

2016: 

Ayesha Amjad declared seven “Any Other Assets” worth Rs66,261,015 in her wealth statement for the year 2016. There was no detail of these assets.

She also declared a gift of Rs56,000,000 an amount of Rs4,700,000.

FBR:

On December 06, 2016, FBR wrote two letters to Ayesha Amjad, wife of COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa. In those letters, she was requested to submit tax returns for the years 2014 and 2015. 

On January 30, 2018, another letter was written by FBR wherein they said that Ayesha Amjad’s Income Tax returns for the year 2016 show her only property worth Rs66,261,015. A close examination of the wealth statement revealed that the total wealth for the previous year was zero and immediately jumped to Rs66,261,015 for 2016. FBR asked Ayesha Amjad to verify the income from “other sources” of Rs4,700,000 as mentioned in her wealth statement for the year 2016. They also asked her to furnish the receipts, and mode of receipt for the gift of Rs56,000,000 that she had mentioned in her tax returns. 

They further said that the assessment completed in her case under section 120(1) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 is not only erroneous but also prejudicial to the interest of revenue.

Ayesha Amjad’s response: 

In response to the abovementioned letter, on April 02, 2018, Mrs. Ayesha Amjad wrote that before 2016, she had no income of her own because all her assets and properties were mentioned in the wealth statements of her husband General Qamar Javed Bajwa. It was the year 2016, the first time her property started fetching an annual income of Rs6,969,600 so a separate income tax in her name was filed as required. So, the assets totaling Rs66,261,015 were shifted from her husband’s wealth statement. No physical transfer occurred. 

(There was no answer for the gift and other sources.)

FBR:

The Federal Bureau of Revenue, on April 12, 2018, again requested Ayesha Amjad to submit a copy of the cross cheque of the gifted amount of Rs66,261,015 and the personal bank statement of both husband and wife to verify the amount of the gift and its channel to proceed further. 

Ayesha Amjad’s Response: 

Ayesha Amjad revised her wealth statement for the year 2016 on April 17, 2018, and responded to FBR on April 18, 2018, that in her wealth reconciliation statement she showed the value of assets transferred from her spouse’s wealth statement under the heading “GIFT” instead of “OTHERS” by mistake. So, a revised wealth statement was submitted. 

FBR: 

On May 14, 2018, FBR sent a reminder to Ayesha Amjad and mentioned that even after the lapse of considerable time no compliance was made. It was further stated that in her previous reply as 

Ayesha Amjad claimed that the donor of the gift was a regular return filer and it could be verified from his Income Tax returns but the same wasn’t appearing in the FBR system. She was given a due date to submit her reply and was warned about further legal proceedings if the compliance was not made in time and if the reply couldn’t satisfy FBR. 

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 stated that she had already submitted her reply to the question and that the notice sent should be withdrawn. 

FBR:

On May 19, 2018, FBR responded and referred to the notice issued on Ayesha Amjad’s previous response about the transfer of assets, FBR stated that in her response there was no evidence concerning the transfer of assets. She was required to submit her written reply along with documentary evidence of assets transfer along with a Gift Deed and Income Tax return & for her husband and herself. 

2017: 

Ayesha Amjad submitted her tax returns and wealth statement for the year 2017 on September 11, 2017, and her “Any Other Assets” increased from seven to nine but this time due to continuous reminders and warnings she gave details for the two of eight “Any other Assets”. The rest six were still unknown. 

FBR:

FBR wrote a letter about the tax year 2017 on January 21, 2020, pointing 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.

2018:

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.  

FBR:

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.

Notice to Ayesha Amjad about a property she purchased in 2018 but didn’t declare

 

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. 

FBR Notice to Ayesha Amjad

2019:

In the year 2019, Ayesha Amjad, had to declare all “any other assets” due to continuous notices and warnings from FBR. 

2020:

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.

FBR Notice to Ayesha Amjad for the year 2017 – Page-1

FBR Notice to Ayesha Amjad for the year 2017 – Page-2

2021:

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.

FBR notice to Ayesha Amjad

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