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Tax amnesty schemes, anti-money laundering regulations and customer due diligence by financial institutes: an evaluation of the implementation issues in Pakistan

Nasir Sultan (Accounting Research Institute, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Shah Alam, Selengor, Malaysia and Department of Management and Administrative Sciences, University of Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan)
Norazida Mohamed (Accounting Research Institute, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Shah Alam, Selengor, Malaysia)
Dildar Hussain (Rennes School of Business, Rennes, France)

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

ISSN: 1755-4179

Article publication date: 22 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Tax amnesty (TA) schemes are typical in developing countries. Governments’ claims and suppositions are continually heightened; however, this may differ in actuality. This study aims to present an overview of the effectiveness of TA schemes and the problems they raise in implementing anti-money laundering regulations.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a qualitative research design. Content analysis was used to analyse research articles, reports, legal documents and news articles.

Findings

Every amnesty offered in Pakistan from 1956 to 2018 failed to meet government expectations. Instead, the continuity resulted in an irrepressible black economy. The black economy’s uncontrollability undermines tax collection and hinders a robust anti-money laundering regime. Significantly, tax holidays with discrepant legislation strengthen evaders, plunderers and launderers. These policies severely impede the implementation of anti-money laundering policies in the financial institutions of Pakistan. Additionally, Pakistan's geopolitical location, circumstance and war against terror cannot afford any policy that provides monetary relaxation to offenders.

Practical implications

There is no concrete evidence to support long-term economic progress through the implementation of amnesty schemes as a revenue collection policy. This study evaluates previous studies and findings to understand the effect of tax amnesties on the financial industry of Pakistan. The findings have practical implications for tax collection authorities, policymakers and international financial bodies.

Originality/value

Previous studies have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of Pakistan’s regular tax amnesties. However, this study discusses the implementation of TA schemes concerning anti-money laundering regulations and customer due diligence by financial institutes and provides suggestions to minimise its negative implications.

Keywords

Citation

Sultan, N., Mohamed, N. and Hussain, D. (2022), "Tax amnesty schemes, anti-money laundering regulations and customer due diligence by financial institutes: an evaluation of the implementation issues in Pakistan", Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRFM-02-2022-0022

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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