FBR unveils ‘mega scam’ involving 45,012 freelancers, 27 banks, and Payoneer

The investigation into the matter unveiled that a massive amount of Rs. 60,308,760,650 was disbursed to 75,615 beneficiaries using local banks.

FBR to go after Payoneer for involvement in scam.

According to reports, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has recently uncovered a ‘mega scam’. The scam involves a foreign company transferring around Rs. 60 billion to more than 70,000 Pakistani citizens without the knowledge of the tax authority. Reports state that the amount was sent by Payoneer, which is registered in the US but has no physical presence in Pakistan.

27 banks were involved in the scam

Talking about the scam, FBR said:

Remittances were sent on the sale of different items and freelancer consultancy services by engaging 27 different local banks.

A statement issued by the Islamabad Income Tax Commissionerate read:

Foreign clients made payments into Payoneer accounts of individual Pakistanis in the USA. The people who received the funds then withdrew the same amount from a Payoneer Inc. account maintained by Mobilink Micro Finance Bank Limited (MMBL) through a Jazz Wallet or from Pakistani accounts maintained with local banks inside Pakistan.

Mega scam unveiled by FBR involving 27 banks and Payoneer.

45,012 unregistered individuals have been caught by the FBR

FBR officials told a media outlet:

Out of 75,615 individuals found to have received funds, 45,012 are not registered with the tax authority. Another 17,985 filed income tax returns but did not pay any tax and never showed any international remittances income.

FBR officials further stated:

The remaining 12,618 individuals are registered with the FBR and have an NTN but have not paid any tax or filed their tax returns.

45,012 individuals caught by FBR for not registering with the tax authority.

An investigation into the scam initiated

The Commissioner Offshore Taxation, Islamabad, has collaborated with the Directorate General of International Taxes to investigate the money/ income received by Pakistanis.

It should be noted that the money was received on account of the provision of various freelancer consultancy services and the sale of goods to various individual clients via the Payoneer platform.

The investigation into the matter unveiled that a massive amount of Rs. 60,308,760,650 was disbursed to 75,615 beneficiaries using local banks in less than two-and-a-half years.

The beneficiaries involved in the scam

According to reports, FBR has identified 45,012 individuals who are liable to be registered with the tax authority and pay tax on the income earned abroad.

In the case of non-NTN holders, compulsory registration is to be carried out by the FBR.

A media outlet reported that the FBR is to issue bulk notices to individuals who are registered but are non-filers and those filer individuals who have not declared taxable foreign income in Pakistan.

FBR to go after non-filers of tax and individuals who have not declared taxable foreign income.

Impact on overall tax revenue

Sources in the FBR claim:

The overall impact of the tax revenue is expected to be more than Rs. 10 billion, which is easy to levy and recover on account of the information being of definite nature.

The sources further shared:

Adding genuine taxpayers having a regular foreign income will benefit the country. This will not only result in the broadening of the tax base but also will improve the overall tax-to-GDP ratio of the country.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.

  • They lost their mind. Ais mulk ka kuch nahi hosakta. First, young Pakistanis who are unable to find jobs, they are offering their skills virtually to get some income. Freelancing is a multi billion dollar industry. How come they conclude that this is a scam? Most freelance companies are paying through PayPal, Skrill or Payoneer. Neither Pakistan have PayPal, Skrill, Revolut etc. Wire transfer payments will become hurdle for Pakistanis, first it will take 5 to 8 days to get money and then bureaucratic issues in the local bank before finally receiving it after 2 or so weeks. FBR should emphasize on collecting taxes from these individuals or encourage them to register as self employed rather than labelling this as a scam. I receive money from Payoneer and I am based in Europe, but Payoneer is not registered in my country. Pakistan should be called a Banana Republic.

  • Well.. from whom they should be recovering theft money… they are being given NROs… the poors who couldn’t find job in Pakistan from that 5Million JOBs in PTi Govt… they are now being targeted…

  • Behan chor FBR k baap ka paisa hai MC logo k paas jobs nahi hai freelancing se chand hazar kamane walo ko scam bol raha hai madar jaad

  • FBR can’t stop people from earning money. But they would want their share of the pie.

  • 60 billion for 72,000 people. averages at 833,000 per individual per anum. there isn’t much tax per individual I guess

  • FIA harassing freelancers. pahly BTC trading walo ko FIA ne haras kiya tha fir PTA ne chupky se Forex sits banned kr dein aur ab yeh darama kiya ja raha ha is se pahly freelance business Pakistan lany wala shoib sheikh ko jubg group ki waja se jail mn dal deya. FIA mein sifarshi log bethy hue hn

  • Payoneer is a “Scam”??? WTF has happened to narrow minded institutions? People have lost their jobs due to Covid last year and the only hope to get money from abroad through working online is Payoneer, now they are trying to put taxes and blackmail this company for their so that it will remove its services from Pakistan like many other companies does in the past.

    Where should we go? There is no Paypal, Skrill, Alipay or other remmittance services and now they are trying to impose their non-sense policies to another running company who is working successfully.

    Aren’t we paying banks their cuts and commissions? Aren’t the bank accounts are tracking the money source? Aren’t they are charging WHT and other service taxes? How come they call it as a “Scam?”

  • kutii ke bachoo freelancers charas bejj rhee thyy ya tmhari maa aur bhen ka mujra karwaa rhee thyy randii ke bachoo faraud hataoo site se

  • Lakh do lanat aye blog liknay walo. Ullo k patho agar freelancing ka kuch pta ni ha to kam say kam scam to na kaho. O begairto ham Pakistan mai dollars lay k aa rhay hain. We are contributing in the progress of country to bring dollars. How dare you call it a scam??? You should change your wordings.

    • Now you know how overseas Pakistani’s feel when they send dollars and are told “yeh kisi peh ehsaan nahi kar rahe, apnay ghar waloon ke liye hi to bhej rahe ho”. Also no adjudication when investment by overseas Pakistani’s gets taken over by land mafias and no recourse. Reality is no one appreciates $$ coming in, only big fish taking $$ out get protection.

  • i think who posted this article is one of the biggest stupid ever. those who eat our country from its roots why you so not talk about them. stupid writer

  • Most of the freelancers in Pakistan use Payoneer but Payoneer does not remitt in any dollars as most of us believe they do.
    Payoneer payments are never remitted to Pakistan rather they keep the dollars with them and use their local partners to pay people in Pakistan in PKR.
    All in all no benefit for Pakistan as most freelancers believe they are bringing in dollars which they are not.

  • Govt should replace all Govt sectors staff. They are sifarshi, illegally appointed persons. Those who don’t know what’s PayPal or Payoneer.

  • This is not a scam. Peoples work and get paid. This is neither illegally earned money nor its illegal money laundering. Hard earned money is brought to Pakistan via proper channels by giving them their service charges. Pakistan government has allowed state bank allow commercial banks to partner with payoneer to receive funds, so how this can be scam?

    • The scam part is not paying income taxes on it. The ones who declared the income which don’t appear to be the majority of these individuals have nothing to worry about. Are service charges to the merchant(s) same as income tax?

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