Lahore: PTI Central Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood has said that a spokesman of PML N has tried to hide the real truth regarding the taxes paid by Mr. Nawaz Sharif during the period 2005 to 2007. The fact is that during this period when he was in exile he paid zero tax. Apart from evidence available with the Federal Board of Revenue, this is borne out by the nomination papers filed by Mr. Sharif in May 2008 for NA 123 Lahore VI.
Answering question no 10 relating to the taxes paid by the applicant during the last three years, the answer given by Mr. Nawaz Sharif was “nil”. This was the period when Mr. Sharif had assets in Pakistan that were not shut down but were giving income. According to the laws of Pakistan every citizen who has local income, irrespective where he or she resides, is required to file an income tax return and pay taxes. The fact is that Mr. Sharif was in exile, not his assets. Therefore, he had to file a return and pay his share of income tax.
The documents signed by him in 2008 indicating that he never paid any taxes in 2005/6/7 are available with Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf. It is instructive that as soon as Mr. Sharif returned he paid Rs 2 million as tax in 2009/10 and Rs 2.5 million in 2010/11. This tax was paid on income accrued from his shares in Chaudry Sugar Mills. The same mill was also giving him dividends in the years he was in exile but no tax was paid.
Tax evasion by the Sharifs is not an issue which has come under scrutiny for the first time as Nawaz Sharif has been convicted in a tax evasion case in 1999 by the Lahore High Court. It was revealed that Sharif had failed to pay Federal Tax on a civilian Helicopter owned by him which was worth US$ 1 million at that time.
Another trick often resorted to by PML-N spokespersons is that when talking about taxes paid by the Sharif brothers, they often include sales tax and other taxes paid by their industries. This is another attempt at hiding the truth. The tax liability of a person and of the industrial units owned by them are totally different.