5:18 pm - Wednesday June 14, 5313

Robi illegally takes Tk 830m VAT rebate

Mobile phone operator Robi Axiata Ltd  has illegally taken some Tk 830 million VAT rebate in its return that was submitted to the tax authority, a senior VAT official said.

Of the amount, the VAT wing has already realised Tk 480 million from Robi’s current bank accounts. The Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) instructed banks to freeze all its bank accounts to realise the rest Tk 350 million.

LTU under the Value Added Tax (VAT) wing issued a letter to the country’s all commercial banks with an instruction to suspend transaction in the bank accounts of Robi until payment of its nearly Tk 350 million tax, reports the Financial express (FE).

robi-1The National Board of Revenue (NBR) also instructed all banks to freeze accounts of the cell phone company, Robi due to non-payment of its due tax.

Provision of taking such rebates was scrapped by the NBR earlier, he added.

“Taxmen served notices several times asking the company either to adjust or pay the tax to the public exchequer. But the company did not respond in this regard,” he said.

The NBR will ask the banks to open the frozen accounts after getting the outstanding tax that it took as rebate for purchase of raw materials, the official added.

In the letter, the tax authority said they have found the irregularities after auditing the company’s documents from January to November 2012.

“The company has taken tax rebate illegally which is a violation of VAT law, 1991,” the letter said.

Talking to the FE, an official of Robi, preferring anonymity, said the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who is now in Kuala Lumpur can comment on this.

Robi Axiata Limited is a joint venture company between Axiata Group Berhad, Malaysia and NTT DOCOMO INC, Japan.

It was formerly known as Telekom Malaysia International (Bangladesh) which commenced operations in Bangladesh in 1997 with the brand name AKTEL. On March 28, 2010, the service name was rebranded as ‘Robi’.