VAT intelligence sues FB agent for VAT evasion

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:00, Aug 13,2020


The National Board of Revenue’s VAT intelligence has lodged a case against a local agent of social media giant Facebook for evading value-added tax and violating the VAT law.

The NBR’s VAT Audit, Intelligence, Investigation and Intelligence Directorate on Thursday said that it filed the case against Httpool Bangladesh Ltd under the VAT and Supplementary Act-2012 for violating the law.

Httpool Bangladesh Ltd obtained its business identification number (BIN), known as the VAT registration number, in May this year naming the Shah Ali Tower at Karwanbazar as its address.

Facebook appointed Httpool as its authorised sales partner in Bangladesh in June. Httpool, which runs operations in 32 countries, is also the authorised sales partner of Facebook in 10 other countries.

The firm deducted Tk 93.32 lakh in VAT but did not deposit the sum to the government exchequer.

The firm deducted the VAT against Tk 6.22 crore collected from 31 advertisers in bills for posting advertisements on Facebook.

Httpool also did not file VAT returns although filing of VAT returns every month is mandatory for a firm that holds a BIN, the VAT intelligence said in a press release.

The VAT intelligence also found no existence of the firm at the address it provided to the VAT office, the release said, adding that as per the VAT law, a firm should notify the VAT office in case of change in address.

Httpool did not give any such notice, it said.

The case was filed for not depositing the deducted VAT, not filing VAT returns and for being non‑existent without approval from the VAT authorities, it added.

The VAT intelligence forwarded the case to Dhaka South VAT commissionerate for disposal of the case.

It is also examining whether Httpool Bangladesh Ltd is involved in other irregularities.

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