The large taxpayers unit (value-added tax) of the National Board of Revenue has recently issued show-cause notices to 11 large taxpayers including six mobile operators for non-payment of Tk 446 crore in VAT, NBR officials said.
Officials alleged that the taxpayers either evaded the VAT or refrained from paying the money to the government exchequer.
They said that the LTU (VAT) also filed cases against the entities including mobile operators Robi, Grameenphone, Banglalink, Citycell and Airtel (now merged with Robi) and Teletalk, China Bangla Ceramic, MIR Cement, Global Heavy Chemical, New Zealand Dairy and telecom regulator Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
The entities evaded the VAT in various forms including claiming illegal rebate, not paying VAT on space and establishment rent, not depositing arrears, not collecting VAT from third parties as deducting agencies and hiding actual sales data, officials said.
The LTU unearthed the incidences of evasion and compiled the outstanding revenue in January to March and issued show-cause notices in May and early June, they said.
The accumulated VAT claim of the LTU (VAT) from Robi stood at Tk 140.24 crore, from Grameenphone Tk 31.68 crore, from Citycell Tk 65 crore, from Banglalink Tk 10.02 crore, from Airtel Tk 3.31 crore and from Teletalk Tk 71 lakh, from the BTRC Tk 161.53 crore, from China Bangla Ceramic Tk 18.76 crore, from MIR Cement Tk 11.11 crore, from Global Heavy Chemical Tk 3.05 crore and from New Zealand Dairy Bangladesh Tk 40 lakh.
Of the amount, mobile phone operators Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink and Teletalk did not pay Tk 33.09 crore in VAT on space and establishment rent.
Officials said that the mobile operators were not paying VAT though they had recently lost a legal battle over VAT on space rent.
The Appellate Tribunal of the NBR recently gave its verdict in favour of the LTU (VAT) in cases filed by mobile operators challenging the VAT worth Tk 83 crore on space rent, they said.
The unit has already appointed caveat at the Supreme Court so that the operators cannot receive stay order unilaterally against the verdict from the court, they added.
A senior official of the revenue board said that the LTU served show-cause notice to telecom regulator BTRC as it failed to deposit VAT against issuance of 3G licence to state-owned mobile operator Teletalk.
The BTRC was supposed to collect the VAT from Teletalk while issuing 3G licence but it did not do so, he said.
It also did not deposit VAT on spectrum fee collected from Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited, he said.
Officials said that an inspection team of the unit found that China Bangla Ceramic and MIR Cement evaded VAT through hiding actual sales records.
The LTU also revealed alleged VAT evasion by Global Heavy Chemical and New Zealand Dairy through intensive audit of their VAT returns and financial documents.
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