Taxmen want to freeze bank accounts of three defaulters

Dhaka,  Wed,  20 September 2017
Published : 05 Aug 2017, 23:05:33 | Updated : 06 Aug 2017, 09:31:37

Taxmen want to freeze bank accounts of three defaulters

Tk 24.33b VAT overdue from these state entities
Doulot Akter Mala
Tax-takers have sought permission to freeze bank accounts of three state-owned entities for realising long-overdue VAT worth Tk 24.33 billion.

Furthermore, the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) under the VAT wing of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has served final notice to Petrobangla for realising some Tk 130.36 billion in unpaid VAT.

The government petroleum agency (Petrobangla) also owes to the exchequer another sum of Tk 71.25 billion as current arrear amount of VAT (value-added tax).

According to an official estimate, the LTU found an aggregate amount of Tk 221.20 billion in tax arrears lying with four state-owned entities.

The three whose bank accounts the LTU seeks to freeze are Titas Gas Company Limited, Bakhrabad Gas Company Limited and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

The tax unit last month sent letters to the NBR for permission to go for the tough action as all of the processes meant for collecting the amount failed so far, officials said.

"The unit has intensified its effort to realise arrears and find out VAT evasion through audit of the VAT returns," said one official.

Under the move, the unit audited nine large companies and detected Tk 240 million in unpaid VAT. Of the amount, the VAT officials have realised Tk 44 million.

The audited businesses are Unique Hotel and Resorts Limited, Partex Furniture Industries Limited, Star Particle Board Mills Limited, Mir Ceramic, Incepta Pharmaceuticals Limited, Aristopharma Limited, SKF Pharmaceuticals, Sinha Printers Limited and United Edible Oil.

The LTU has withdrawn VAT rebate for 10 large taxpayers on detection that the rebate has been claimed "unlawfully", the officials said.

There are six telecom operators among those companies: Robi Axiata Ltd, Grameenphone Limited, City Cell, Airtel Bangladesh Limited, Banglalink and Teletalk BD Limited.

The unit has realized the VAT, taken as rebate, from Southeast Bank Limited, Eskayef Bangladesh Limited, Premier Cement Limited, and Seven Circle Bangladesh Ltd.

Nineteen companies also faced legal action last year for non-payment of VAT.

The LTU filed cases against the companies for realizing stuck-up revenue worth Tk 15.65 billion.

Among the companies, the six mobile-phone operators, WASA, BTRC, BTCL, China Bangla Ceramic, Mir Cement, Global Heavy Chemical, New Zealand Dairy, LM Ericson, Interspeed and Premier Bank are on the list.

The VAT unit later collected the arrears from LM Ericson, Interspeed and Teletalk Bd Limited.

Officials, however, said it is difficult to get permission for freezing bank accounts of state-owned entities.

The NBR did not respond to the letter yet considering sensitivity associated with such punitive action, they said.

At a high-level meeting it was decided to take initiative to settle the arrears in VAT worth Tk 132.78 billion due from Petrobangla in phases through book adjustment on completion of audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) office.

The Finance Division would take steps for settlement of account on the tax arrears. Petrobangla needs government subsidy handed out from the finance division.

The entity wrote to the Ministry of Energy and mineral resources for allocating subsidies by the finance ministry.  

Following the request, the finance ministry sent a summary to Prime Minister's Office regarding allocation of the subsidy.

The finance ministry would allocate the subsidies to the Petrobangla after getting consent of the PMO.

The LTU collected Tk 367.42 billion in VAT in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17, posting the highest growth of about 20 per cent compared to revenue collection in last three years.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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