Lahore: When expats face high taxes, their main concern is the cost of living, and that can be a big issue for them.
The country’s main expatriating lobby group, the Overseas Institute of Pakistan, has warned expats against moving to a city that is more expensive than it was when they moved here.
Lahore is the only Pakistani city in which expats pay a large portion of their income in taxes, according to the Overseers Institute, which represents nearly 20,000 expats.
“It’s not an issue of expatriation, but when taxes are high, expats are afraid to move to cities where there is a higher tax burden,” said Mohammed Akhtar, chairman of the Overseer Institute’s Islamabad chapter.
“If you have to pay tax, you don’t want to move.
But if you have a large family and don’t have to move, you can do it.
It’s the same thing for expats living abroad.
It is a cost of life issue,” he said.
Some expats feel it is a risk they should consider for themselves.
“I know people who have paid expatriated taxes.
I have my own money, and it is hard for me to leave my house,” said one of them, who asked not to be named.”
There is no way I can go abroad and pay my taxes.
And when they (expatriots) say it’s a risk, they don’t really mean it,” he added.
The Overseers institute has warned Pakistanis against moving overseas to live in high-tax areas, where they can face higher taxes.
But expats have also taken a different approach.
“We do not want to live under the shadow of high taxes.
If you do move abroad, you will face a higher rate of tax and have to live with a higher burden,” Akhtar said.
But Akhtar added that he and others have seen many expats who have been told they had to pay higher taxes for moving to certain cities or areas, such as Lahore.
“People who say they are expats and want to relocate to a better area can move there.
But they do not have to.
They can live on their own,” he warned.”
And the fact that the tax rate for a house in Lahore is very high, the fact it is not a tax haven and is not easy to move there, this is not the right attitude,” he went on.”
The main problem is not with expats but with people who want to use this as a way to escape from the high tax burden.”