How can Overseas Pakistanis become tax filers?

When you are a national of Pakistan and be present in a foreign country, you may have some queries within your mind regarding furnishing your tax return. Or maybe you wish to have knowledge about if you could become a tax filer to begin with. While the likelihood of dealing with so many types of taxes may appear overwhelming to someone. The process by which overseas Pakistanis can become tax filers is quite easy and simple.
Before moving forward into a detailed discussion regarding the main topic, it is necessary to elaborate the concept of overseas Pakistani.


According to FBR, overseas Pakistani is defined as;

''A person shall be a non-resident individual for a tax year if the individual is living outside Pakistan for 120 days or more in the tax year and, in the last four years, he has been outside Pakistan for a period not less than 365 days. This means that a person must remain in a foreign country for at least 08 months to claim overseas Pakistani status or a non-resident status for the tax year.''

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Overseas Pakistani as Tax filler

  • Overseas Pakistanis can easily become tax filers in Pakistan and file their Income Tax Returns.
  • A Non-Resident person being a citizen of Pakistan, normally does not have any Income Tax liability to Government of Pakistan. However, for availing the rank of Tax Filer in Pakistan, he can also file Income Tax return.
  • Foreign Pakistani or a non-resident Pakistani whose income is taxable in Pakistan or in other words, who are earning income in Pakistan are liable to pay Income Tax on their income earned in Pakistan.

Pakistan-sourced income

  • Pakistan-sourced income is meant by any income which is earned in Pakistan that is taxable regardless of its receiving. This means that if Pakistani is receiving remuneration from an employer in Pakistan then his income tax at source will most likely be deducted from his salary even if he ex-pats residing in a foreign country.
  • It is essential to mention that just deduction of income tax from your salary does not mean that you have become a tax filer automatically. To be acknowledged as a filer in Pakistan, you are required to be added to the Federal Board of Revenue's Active Taxpayers List.
  • Furthermore, suppose an ex-pat has immovable or movable assets in Pakistan, such as a house or a motor vehicle which is purchased exclusively from foreign income. In this case, there is need to prove that the money was remitted outside the country. They need to apprehend that the said transaction was carried out via proper channels and as per instructions mentioned by the State Bank of Pakistan. In 2018, FBR decided to waive off the withholding tax applicable on the withdrawals of remittances, i.e. the funds sent to the home (Pakistan) by a non-resident Pakistanis.
FBR and other concerned authorities can inquire into any taxpayer's assets and elaborate the source, if needed as per the Pakistani tax laws.