3 telcos dodge Tk 23cr VAT on space rental: NBR

Mobile operators Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink have allegedly evaded Tk 23.18 crore in value-added tax (VAT) on rental payments for commercial space and establishments from January to June this year.


Of the total amount, Grameenphone owes Tk 7.25 crore, while Robi and Banglalink owe Tk 7.58 crore and Tk 8.35 crore respectively.


The Large-Taxpayers Unit for Value-added Tax (LTU-VAT) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) recently issued show-cause notices (demand notice) to the three mobile operators asking to them pay the due VAT in 15 days.


NBR officials said any businesses, institute or organization who run their business in rented space of the size above 150 square feet, have to pay 9 percent VAT on the rental payment, according to a statutory regulatory order (SRO) issued by the NBR in 2010.


If any tenant does not pay the money, NBR can issue primary demand note and if the dues are not paid within the notice period the total payable amount will be increased by 2 percent, according to the SRO.


However, the mobile operators claimed that they did not evade any VAT, but a dispute has arisen on this issue with the NBR.


“As the matter is sub- judice, no one can claim that mobile operators’ have evaded unless it is proven,” they added.


“We have challenged an illegal imposition of tax and this cannot be termed as “evasion” of tax”, said the spokesperson of a mobile operator.


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