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Tax dodging of Tk 182.47 crore by Robi detected

2014-10-15 20:14:20
Tax dodging of Tk 182.47 crore by Robi detected

Thereport24.com Correspondent, Dhaka:

National Board of Revenue (NBR) has deployed its officials to the field for resolving the tax dodging mystery of Tk 182 crore by mobile telecom operator Robi Axiata Limited.

In unmasking the mystery, the NBR officials are following the faults and clues of forgery pinpointed by the local Revenue Audit Directorate. After completion of the audit, the NBR might ask the Commissionerate of Taxes for making a formal claim to the mobile operator, NBR sources confirmed.

Robi Axiata Limited had dodged Tk 182.47 crore through forgery and manipulation in its annual financial report. But the concerned Commissionerate of Taxes failed to detect the tricks used in dodging such a huge amount in taxes though the local Revenue Audit Directorate finally detected it in 2014. Following detection of the forgery, the NBR has selected the mobile company for re-auditing its financial report for pinpointing the tricks.

Sources said Robi submitted its tax return availing the opportunity of self-assessment process.

Its Tax Identification Number was 175-200-6952. The revenue section of the local Revenue Audit Directorate examined the tax return, annual report, tax computation sheet and other official documents of the company.

The documents showed the company had reclaimed as expenditure the subsidy provided in VAT and supplementary duty on the sale of SIM cards.

According to Section 29 of the Income Tax Act, the subsidy provided in VAT and supplementary duty on SIM cards that were sold at discounts (below the regular price) to expand business cannot be considered business expenses.

An official of the large taxpayers unit said the issue of tax evasion was discussed when the local Revenue Audit Directorate raised objection against those.

“As Robi has been selected for re-audit under Section 82bb (3) of the revenue board rules, the objections will be examined for a final report,” he said.

Besides, in paragraphs 24 and 25 of the annual report, the company did not collect source tax and source VAT on the expenses regarding transport, commission paid to dealers, specialists’ fee and security. It was not disregarded according to tax ordinance 30(aa) either.

Formerly known as Aktel, the company downplayed its earnings by not including expenses outside business and approved expenses to the company’s total earnings.

This led to tax evasion amounting to a total of Tk 182,47,60,015.

Audit sources at the National Board of Revenue said the company’s tax documents were reopened for scrutiny as forgery was detected in its annual financial statement.

“Objections raised by the local Revenue Audit Directorate will be taken into account while examining the files. Once the audit ends, the concerned Commissionerate of Taxes will be ordered to issue a formal claim to the company,” he added.

When contacted for Robi’s position on the tax dodging issue, media spokesman of Robi Axiata Limited Mohiuddin Babar told thereport24.com, “Robi in not aware of any formal claim by NBR over Tk 182 crore tax dodging incident.”

(This report has been translated by Mahmudul Islam and edited by Md. Al-Amin for thereport24.com/English)

Ends/thereport24.com/OS/MI/AMA/Oct 15, 2014

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