FBR reduces tax on mobile phones for overseas Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD: Overseas Pakistanis who bring used/refurbished mobile phones into the country will benefit from a 60% depreciation allowance, according to a new valuation ruling by the Directorate General of Customs Valuation Karachi.

The ruling, which applies to international passengers, states that the depreciation rate for used/refurbished mobile phones has been increased from 30% to 60% for the assessment of duties and taxes.

This means that overseas Pakistanis can import phones up to five years old at lower values, saving them money and reducing the burden of taxation.

The ruling is part of a progressive taxation policy that aims to facilitate those who bring old phones for personal use. However, commercial importers will not get any relief from the ruling and will have to pay higher values for new models of mobile phones.

The ruling also intends to curb the practice of under-invoicing, which involves declaring lower values for imported goods to evade taxes. The ruling states that the valuation methods should be consistent and uniform, and that the declared value should be accepted unless there is clear evidence of mis-declaration.

The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) had earlier directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to apply appropriate depreciated values for used mobile phones based on their physical condition and model, in order to prevent overcharging.

The ruling further states that the used/refurbished mobile phones imported by bonafide passengers will be assessed on the customs values given in the annexure, which include the depreciation allowance.

For brands and models that are imported in commercial quantity but are not listed in the annexure, the clearance Collectorates are advised to assess them under Section 81 of the Customs Act, 1969 and then forward a reference to the Directorate for final determination of their values.

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