Stories about tax evasion

How to get rich while saving billions in taxes in Pakistan

I’ve read a lot on how to get rich in a short span of time if you are living in a developing country like Pakistan. But all the writers of such articles have missed the easiest method of all – collude with the customs to cheat the government. One way of doing this is what an enterprising importer did recently. In this case alone, the company must have cheated the government of at least Rs100 million by importing 80,000 cell phones (which were recovered from the bungalow) without any payment of duty and taxes. In another raid, the authorities seized a container (belonging to the same ...

Read Full Post

What kind of Naya Pakistan do Imran Khan and PTI have in mind exactly?

A lot has happened in the last few days. The much awaited “historic” verdict of the number one obsession of Pakistani TV anchors, Pakistan’s chattering white collar urban middle classes, and their favourite political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), finally arrived. When the news came that a joint investigating team (JIT) had been formed to investigate the corruption of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, I contacted a famous journalist whom I have the privilege of knowing and expressed my frustration that this nonsense would drag further. His reply was: “Well, in a country where there is no entertainment, such things fill the gap!” He could ...

Read Full Post

Do our ministers really deserve a shameless 146% increase in salary?

I have to interact frequently with our tax collectors, and since our lawmakers don’t have to pay taxes, they have no idea of the torture the average businessman has to suffer. The following dialogue explains how the common man is taxed heavily and, since lawmakers don’t have to pay taxes, they thought it fit to increase their salaries recently: Tax collector: What do you do? Common man: I run a business. Tax collector: Well, pay professional tax then! What are you doing in your business? Common man: Selling goods. Tax collector: Pay sales tax then! From where are you getting your goods from? Common man: ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan: A democracy abducted

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent exposure in the Mossack Fonseca Scandal comes as no surprise to those familiar with Pakistan’s perennial opportunities for corruption amongst her ruling classes. While enraging much of the nation, the surfacing of these ugly realities has inspired its Islamist clergy. Painting themselves even more ‘holier than thou’, Pakistan’s religious clerics are uniting in extraordinary consensus. Seizing on Sharif’s suddenly weakened position, they gather to oppose the Anti-Honour Killing amendment bill, the Anti-Rape amendment bill and the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act presented in Pakistan’s joint parliamentary session last month. Apparently laws containing ‘remedies for victims of violence’, criminalising ‘all forms of violence against women’ ...

Read Full Post

You’re looking at Nawaz Sharif, but do you pay your taxes?

It is no secret that Panama, with its strictest financial secrecy rules on the planet, has been a long-time friend to crooks, dictators, corporations and the ridiculously rich. Turned into a tax and money-laundering haven in the 70s with the help of American banks, Panama’s financial laws remain extremely lax and welcoming. As a Panamanian lawyer put it in his 2014 VICE News interview, “When it comes to money laundering, we offer full service: rinse, wash, and dry. You can go to any law firm in the city, from the smallest to the biggest, and open up a shell company with no questions asked.” To ...

Read Full Post

Why won’t you let NAB do it’s job, Nawaz Sharif?

Dear Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Until recently, you had nothing against NAB investigating and arresting those who did not belong to your party. But recently you lost your cool and came down hard upon this organisation for “harassing government officers” and you said that you would “clip its wings”. Apparently, you did not want any investigation of corruption in projects like the LNG, Metro Bus, Orange Train and LDA City. Why? You may be under the impression that being in government gives you the freedom to do whatever you want and violate all or most of the rules. You seem to believe that ...

Read Full Post

You know your state is failing if the poor pay taxes and the rich don’t

Skimming through the newspaper a few days ago, I read a front page news piece which shocked me. The piece stated that the elites are not paying taxes and that our tax system favours the rich. The shock was not at the findings of the Tax Reforms Commission (TRC) rather it was at the fact that it took the TRC a year and a half, and millions of rupees in research, to report something everyone knew from the beginning. When we already live in a system which promotes elitism and rewards it, why are we so surprised at the economic endorsements of this ...

Read Full Post

Sheikh Rasheed: A political enigma

Farzand-e-Rawalpindi (Son of Rawalpindi), Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, is the apple of the eye for many TV anchors. Ratings sky-rocket when he is the guest on a show. His blunt comments, revolutionary slogans and political predictions are loved by the public. He talks about the problems of the common man, in the language of the common man and is always well informed of what’s cooking in the circles of the Pakistani ruling elite – both, civil and military. But Sheikh Rasheed has a past which he has either conveniently chosen to forget or is compelled by circumstances to simply ignore. Today, he may ...

Read Full Post

Financial fraud in the Virgin Islands: Money laundering by the filthy rich

Located within the larger Caribbean region, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are a British dominion, resembling paradise on earth and attracting over a million tourists annually. Famous for their enchanting landscape and white beaches, the Virgin Islands host wealthy vultures who have made these islands their second home by laundering money in to evade taxes in their countries of residence. In fact, these tiny islands may be hosting one of the largest financial fraud of the current times. Trillions of dollars are stashed into bogey financial institutions run by middle men and front men on behalf of the global money ...

Read Full Post

Why we Khan’t

A few days back, a family friend of mine narrated an incident about how he escaped paying taxes, or at least didn’t have to pay the full amount that was due. To cut a long story short, he bribed his way around the system by giving a very expensive mobile phone to the daughter of a tax official. This is a story that, I am sure, we have all experienced and witnessed in different forms and shapes in our everyday life. Now, I would like to point out a few things, which, I feel, are essential to the argument that ...

Read Full Post