Feb 22
NBR demands Tk 925cr unpaid VAT from Robi PDF Print E-mail

The National Board of Revenue yesterday demanded Tk 925 crore from Robi Axiata as unpaid value-added tax after an audit found discrepancy between its own records and the mobile operator's database.

The Large Taxpayers Unit analysed data stored in Robi's computers and its submitted returns from January 2013 to December 2016 and found that the operator did not pay Tk 553.61 crore as VAT and Tk 158.20 crore as VAT-at-source.

A five-member audit team, led by Assistant Commissioner Bodruzzaman Munshi, found that the country's second largest operator did not pay VAT on merger fee and spectrum charge and made unlawful rebate claims, all of which amount to Tk 213.19 crore.

“It means that the company did not pay VAT properly,” said a senior official of the LTU VAT, seeking to remain unnamed.

The LTU has issued five notices to Robi, asking the operator to explain why it should not be asked to deposit the amount to the state coffer within 15 days.

Contacted, Ekram Kabir, vice-president of Robi Axiata, said: “A show-cause notice is a regular process and we will provide our legal rationale accordingly.”

He said Robi claimed all rebate in accordance with the law and it is unfortunate that the telecom industry is treated differently when it comes to VAT.

VAT on merger fee or VAT on any regulatory fees is already a sub-judice matter, he said.

If Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission gets VAT registration, all issues related to regulatory fees and VAT will be resolved.

“We cannot pay VAT on various regulatory fees and charges to the BTRC as it cannot issue chalans against VAT payment in the absence of VAT registration. It is unfortunate that the NBR is not taking action to help resolve the issue,” Kabir added.

(Source - The Daily Star)