US withdraws special tax exemption to Pakistani diplomats
The US has withdrawn its special tax exemption to Pakistani diplomats, over a year after the Trump administration imposed travel restrictions on them, forcing the officials to stay within 40 kms of the city they are posted in.
The diplomatic tax exemption programme - usually granted to foreign diplomats and consulars - provides sales and use, occupancy, food, airline, gas, and utility tax exemptions to eligible foreign officials on assignment in the Unites States. The facility is enjoyed by the officials' dependents too.
The decision to take back the special tax exemption cards issued to the Pakistani officials was made on May 15, after which the affected staffers had to surrender the privilege, The News International reported from Washington.
Trump administration had imposed travel restrictions on Pakistan diplomats over a year ago. The number of affected staffers of the Pakistani embassy are a little over 20, the report said. Tax exemption privileges for foreign diplomats, consular officers and staff members are generally based on two international treaties: The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Since all such services and privileges are based on the principle of reciprocity, that means no privileges are granted to a foreign official unless the United States embassy and consular personnel receive the equivalent privileges in that country.
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