Communicating Members’ Voices – Meeting with ACCA CEO

Communicating Members’ Voices – Meeting with ACCA CEO

Dear Readers,

Peace be on you all,

Had a very productive meeting with Ms. Helen Brand, CEO of ACCA, the largest global accountancy body in human history. In all my interactions, I’ve always found her to be very articulate and a methodical professional, yet at the same time being a very humble and friendly person.

Vital proposals regarding ACCA fraternity and brand, culminated from the feedbacks of the members and the collective wisdom of representatives, were shared and discussed at length with her and Sundeep Takwani. Sundeep is also an impressive professional.

Although it was peak period professionally, the importance of advocacy and contributing to my Alma-mater & wider society meant that I took extra time off work. And it was well worth it. The contents of the discussions were confidential, but let me share that ACCA believes in Thinking Ahead so look forward to the exciting times and initiatives ahead.

SAJJEED ASLAM, FCA arif mirza Ayla Majid Brian McEnery

 

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A Visit to the Scottish Parliament – Lessons in Democratic Norms

Dear Readers,

Peace be on you all,

In this post I’m sharing a fantastic experience of witnessing a true modern  democracy at work during my visit to the Scottish Parliament. When I reached, there were a couple of small protests going on right in front of the main entrance of the Parliament.

With people protesting outside, the parliamentarians kept addressing the issues inside in the debating chamber in front of their electorate. The openness, transparency & accountability while giving respect to the voices of the voters, is how it is supposed to be.

Giving respect to the masses while holding the representatives accountable is the true essence of a real democratic system.

It is a lesson for countries all over the world. What’s worth mentioning here is that although Romans had a semi-democratic setup, that was largely selective. The first model of a true modern democratic setup was established by Prophet Muhammad PBUH in the state of Medina.

Let’s hope we get to see further improvements in democratic setup of Scotland and the rest of the world.  I’ll now sign off by sharing that the Scottish people are very friendly and have a good-nature.

Enjoy the pictures below and see you here soon with the next blog post.

 

FREE CONSULTATION: The Foreign & Domestic Tax Amnesty 2018 – EXTENDED till 31/07/18

Golden Opportunity for you & the Country:

With the OECD data sharing re tax avoidance and black monies looming closer along-with the threat of severe implications, the recent amnesty by Government of Pakistan appears to be a golden opportunity for those with assets/income without proper trail.

Due to the administrative and legal issues getting clarified only about a couple of weeks ago, the response to Amnesty didn’t really took off until the last two weeks. And was it some response?

It was phenomenal particularly compared with the last few amnesties. Even for the country, with its’ economy currently in a dire strait, this seems to be providing a much needed breather while the nation awaits the next Government to take charge and hopefully steer the economy in the right direction. Moreover, it may help increase the documentation of the economy which seems to be a lost cause to date despite immense expense by FBR.

While it maybe a great opportunity for, it does require a lot of care and proper planning. We can proudly offer you complete confidentiality, competence and commitment with a proven track record of 100% excellence to back it up over four (4) decades of firm history.

 

Introduction of the Managing Partner (Taxation & Corporate Services):

Mr. Omer Zaheer Meer, FCCA is Chairman of ACCA Pakistan’s Member Network Panel, represents Pakistan on the Global Tax Forum and is the Chairman of ACCA Pakistan’s Taxation Subcommittee. He has extensive experience as a top taxation expert and has been chairing  the Tax Clinic at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
He is currently the Managing Partner (Corporate Services) at Millennium Law & Corporate Company, the pioneer ACCA practising firm in Pakistan and also sits on the boards of various corporations.
Receiver of ACCA’s Exceptional Public Value Awards and National Advocacy Award, he is currently serving for the fourth time as Chairman Liaison Committee of Lahore Tax Bar Association. He has also served on the Finance, Economy and Taxation Committee of LCCI and is an advisor to several parliamentarians on taxation and economic affairs.
For his detailed introduction, please visit:
Contact Us Now for a Free of Cost Consultation:

So, if you’re an overseas or local Pakistani National and would like to know more details, wish to avail the amnesty or simply a professional wishing to learn more, please feel free to get in touch:

Millennium Law & Corporate Company   (MLCC)   

(Pioneer ACCA & Legal Practising Firm in Pakistan)

2nd Floor, Bashir Mansion, 2 Turner Road, Lahore

0322-4219292 / 042-37242612

ACCA AGM & MNP 2018-2020

Dear Readers,

Peace be on you,

It’s with great pleasure that I share this news that I was honored to have attended and represented members at the AGM of ACCA Pakistan. Futhermore, I’ve also been venerated with the honor of representing the members in Pakistan on the Members’ Network Panel (MNP) of the largest global accountancy body, ACCA.

May I also take this opportunity to express my gratitude towards all my family, friends, colleagues and executives at ACCA. I’ll continue to meet and exceed your expectations for the betterment of the fraternity in line with my track record.

Below are some pictures from the event.

Taxation Trends in Pak in the Need for Reforms

The following write-up was published in the Jan-Mar 2018 Quarterly Edition of “Policy Insights”, the largest global accountancy body ACCA’s regional publication covering MENASA

Link: ACCA’s Policy Insights’ Published Link

Link: Main Page

Fiscal Reform: Taxation Trends in Pak in the Need for Reforms

By: Omer Zaheer Meer

Taxation laws are set of laws to derive revenues for the Government to function & service the citizens with the aim of improving their quality of life while continuously improving the facilities and infrastructures provided. Pakistan has a complex taxation system with a focus on indirect taxes with over 70 different taxes. This has led to several sets of laws dealing with specific taxation areas. Below are some major issues highlighted in need for major fiscal reforms:

  • Extremely Low Numbers of Income Tax Returns Filers:

From approximately 1.32 million income tax returns filers in tax year 2016 to fewer than 1.3 million as per last available data in 2017 is an area of major concern. In a country of over 220 million, this amounts to just 0.6% of the total population.

  • Undocumented, Black economy:

This builds up from the above issue of low return filers. A larger proportion of the economy, some estimates put the number close to 100% of the GDP. This by any standard is massive and a point of major concern.

  • Taxation Complexities and Ease of Doing Business:

As mentioned above, Pakistan has a very complex tax system and the recently released data by the World Bank has placed the country on a ranking of 147 out of 190. The complex, non-harmonized and multi-layered laws in operations not only make it more expensive but also time-consuming for the businesses.

  • Harmonization Issues:

The issue of lack of harmonization among various laws increased many-fold post the devolution of Sales Tax on Services regulation and administration to the provinces and each Province setting up its own Revenue Authority for the same. In an era, when countries are agreeing to facilitating arrangements on the likes of European Economic Area, making borders irrelevant in terms of economic activities, Pakistani businesses are facing the traditional challenges while expanding their businesses in other provinces within the same country.

  • High Costs of taxation:

In addition to having one of the most complex taxation systems in the world, Pakistan also has high taxation rates compared to other countries in the region. Furthermore the taxation rates are also several times that of the cost of tax avoidance in the country, making it an attractive proposition for some businesses to keep operating beyond the radar of the legal economy. Moreover, the highly complex nature of the taxation regimes also translates into further costs for taxpayers in terms of the time and administration required to ensure compliance.

  • Structural Issues:

The structural issues including confusing and highly subjective laws, focus on indirect taxes, the improvable systems, mal-practices, singular focus on revenue collection, harassment of the existing taxpayers rather than using the same resources to focus on expanding the tax base and a general ill-perception have all contributed to the current state of affairs and needs to be reformed if the situation is to improve.

  • Conclusion:

The above issues are requiring serious efforts to address the critical issues concerning the taxpayers particularly the businesses in the country. With CPEC and its associated possibilities materializing, now is a good time to ensure these reforms are put to action to achieve the full potential of not only the existing economy but also the developments accruing. We’ll discuss the possible proposals for reforms in the next issue. Till then, we leave our readers to ponder over these issues.

 

The writer is a leading economist who is also a qualified chartered certified accountant, chartered financial analyst and anti-money laundering expert. He’s sits on the Global Tax Forum of ACCA and is the sitting Chairman Liaison Committee of LTBA and ACCA’s Taxation Committee in Pakistan. He can be reached on Twitter and www.myMFB.com @OmerZaheerMeer or omerzaheermeer@hotmail.co.uk

Recognising our regular contributors…
Nayeema Bashar receives a certificate of appreciation and Omer Zaheer Meer wins Pakistan’s national Member Advocacy Award.

 

ACCA Pakistan “Working Group on Taxation”

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Assalam O Alikum (Peace be on you),

The above is a picture from one of the events launching ACCA’s last pre-budget proposals. We’re planning for a revamp of the ACCA taxation committee and opening up to have some more competent professionals join us with their valuable contributions for the profession, country and their Alma-mater.

Below is the snapshot of a recent email from ACCA to members across Pakistan. Please feel free to share this in your circle and get in touch if you’re the right person.

Dear ACCA Members
ACCA Pakistan MNP has decided to setup a working group under the Taxation Subcommittee. The objective of this working group will be to interact with the Federal Board of Revenue initially and expand its remit to the Provincial Revenue Authorities under the leadership of Omer Zaheer Meer, FCCA, Head of Taxation Sub Committee, ACCA Pakistan and offer the following:

  • Provide regular feedback and suggestions on circulars/policy matters pertaining to taxation
  • Prepare budget proposals (initially federal and later on expand them to the provincial proposals too) and forward them to Federal and Provincial Ministries of Finance.
  • The budget proposals should be prepared in such a way that they present a holistic as well as sectoral suggestions for Pakistan’s Annual Budget
  • Discuss, deliberate and critically evaluate issues pertaining to taxation and present the critical evaluation to Federal and Provincial
  • Profile the ACCA Pakistan Members Network Panel and the subcommittee to the taxation regulators in Pakistan

This working group will consist of 3-5 members working in the taxation sector in strategic positions with considerable experience of the sector. Members with a diverse view point on taxation of different business sectors are encouraged to share their CVs and a personal statement describing their claim to merit for these position with us.

Those members who are keen to join this working group should send us their CV and personal statement by replying to this email. We will look forward to your responses by 24 February 2017.
Haroon A Jan
Regional Head of Member Affairs – MENASA
ACCA Pakistan
61-C  Main Gulberg  Lahore Pakistan

Kind Regards,

Omer Zaheer Meer,

Managing Partner,

Millennium Law & Corporate Company

Announcement of Exceptional Public Value Award by ACCA

Dear Readers,

Peace be on you!

It’s with extreme pleasure that I announce that the prestigious Exceptional Public Value Award is to be awarded to myself by Ms. Helen Brand, OBE, CEO ACCA (the largest accountancy body globally). I’ll share the details with you after receiving the award, Insha Allah.

I’m honored by this privilege and grateful to ACCA for the recognition of my:

“contributions in the field of Budget and Taxation including but not limited to

  • the drafting of Anti-Graft Legislation focused on Undisclosed Foreign Income & Assets which was later adopted by the Treasury,
  • work done on the Regional Research Study on Indirect Taxation across South Asia and UAE,
  • MOU’s with Tax Bars,
  • Collaborations with Chambers of Commerce and Tax Bars,
  • Pre & Post Budget proposals and seminars,
  • continued member education events particularly on Taxation and
  • opportunities created through R&I sessions with key employers.”

Last but not the least, I’m thankful to you all for your support and prayers particularly my parents, siblings, mentors, colleagues and friends.

acca-exceptional-public-value-award

Regards,

Omer Zaheer Meer