The Financial Express

Company 'evades' Tk 84.8m VAT through mis-declaration

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A tax-intelligence team has unearthed alleged tax evasion worth Tk 84.8 million by a company through misdeclaration on imports and local marketing sans value addition.

Officials said a value-added tax (VAT) intelligence team has reported its findings about Bashundhara Steel Complex, owned by Buildt-red Group.

A spokesman for the firm denied the charges and termed the report 'one-sided'.

On an investigation, the intelligence team found the company having imported products as manufacturer under concessionary duty but sold those as commercial businesses to other companies without value addition or not changing shapes or profile, says a statement issued Wednesday by the VAT directorate.

"The company has abused the concessionary-duty facility under special statutory regulatory order (SRO) of the NBR as its imported products were not raw materials," it alleged.

The VAT Audit, Intelligence and Investigation Directorate Wednesday filed a case under VAT law against the company which is involved with manufacturing and supplying pipes.

The company, headquartered in Dhaka's Tejgoan, has its factory in Manikganj.

In August 2015, Buildtrade Group purchased the ownership of the company from Bashundhara Group.

The tax sleuths, led by Assistant Director of VAT intelligence Md Mahidul Islam, conducted investigation from July 2015 to June 2019 and detected some irregularities.

The investigation report has been prepared through crosschecking annual audit report of the company prepared by Chartered Accountants, monthly VAT returns, copies of treasury chalan or other documents.

The wing allowed the company to place documents and explain the reason for self-defence.

The team has detected evasion of import-stage VAT worth Tk 18 million, Customs Duty (CD) Tk 9.5 million and Regulatory Duty worth Tk 0.3 million.

Although it is registered as a limited company, the investigators said, it violated the mandatory provision of preparing annual financial report.

In the investigation they found the company having only audited report for the year 2014-15. The company has not submitted the audited financial report to the VAT-and income-tax authorities.

As per audit report, the company did not deduct any VAT at source in FY 2014-15.

The VAT team has found mismatch in current and term account, illegal rebate claim in different forms, sale of imported goods on local market without registering in import- product register.

The VAT-intelligence team has handed over the case to Dhaka West Zone for taking legal action.

Sardar Md Amimul Ehsan, manager (VAT) of Buildtrade Group, however, declined to accept the allegation and claimed that the VAT intelligence had not allowed self-defence.

"We have paid VAT following the existing law. The demand has been raised in one-sided manner," he added.

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