4 gas cos `dodged’ Tk 19,594cr in taxes

February 17, 2015

Finds NBR, starts legal process to recover the money
The country’s tax administration has demanded a total of Tk 19,594 crore from four major gas distribution companies, alleging that the companies dodged the amount in value-added tax and supplementary duty from 2009 to 2014. Officials of the National Board of Revenue told New Age that Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, Karnaphuli Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, Bakhrabad Gas Transmission and Distribution Company and Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution Company dodged the taxes between July 2009 and March 2014.
Of the amount, the four companies collected Tk 13,277 crore from their subscribers as VAT and supplementary duty in the distribution stage during the period but did not deposit to the government exchequer.
The remaining Tk 6,318 crore is interest amount on the taxes.
According to the VAT Act-1991, taxpayers will have to pay additional 2 per cent as interest on the basic taxes for the periods for non-payment of the taxes.
The Large Taxpayer Unit of the revenue board on February 1, 2015 started legal procedures including filing cases against the companies to realise the dodged taxes, a senior NBR official told New Age on Monday.
The companies now will attend hearings at the LTU and after the hearings the LTU will issue demand orders to the companies for paying the taxes, they said.
Officials said that LTU (VAT) in February, 2014 unearthed the incidences of tax evasion by the companies.
Of the amount, Titas Gas dodged the highest amount of Tk 10,988 crore in VAT and SD followed by Karnaphuli Gas Tk 1,268 crore, Bakhrabad Gas Tk 672 crore and Jalalabad Gas Tk 348 crore.
According to the VAT act, subscribers have to pay 40 per cent SD and 15 per cent VAT on the price of gas and the distributor companies have to deposit the taxes to the government exchequer.
Officials said that the companies deposited the taxes collected only from the subscribers of the industry sector.
But they did not deposit the taxes collected from the subscribers of the electricity, fertiliser, CNG, captive power, tea garden, commercial and household sectors.
A senior official of the revenue board said that the government was deprived of huge amount of revenue as the companies did not deposit the collected taxes to the government exchequer.
Such activities are punishable offence under the VAT act and VAT rules, he said.
Officials said that the companies were declining to pay the taxes on various pretexts such as the international oil companies are exempted from paying such taxes and the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, well-known as Petrobangla, pays taxes on behalf of the OICs.
The four companies paid VAT and SD collected from the subscribers of industrial sector. So there is no scope for non-payment of the taxes collected from other sectors, they said.
Titas Gas finance director Sankar Kumar Das told New Age that the company received a letter from the LTU in this regard.
He, however, declined to comment further on the issue.
No officials of the three other companies could be reached for comment.

-With New Age input

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