12:00 AM, March 06, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

NBR moves to resolve SIM tax dispute

NBR moves to resolve SIM tax dispute

Abdullah Mamun

The tax regulator seeks to resolve the Tk 3,000 crore SIM replacement dispute with the four mobile operators within two weeks.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Ghulam Hussain, chairman of National Board of Revenue, and top officials of the four mobile operators—Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Airtel.
Hussain urged the telecom regulator to make a guideline on re-examining the replaced SIMs to find if those were used by the same users after activation, said TIM Nurul Kabir, secretary general of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh, who was present at the meeting.
The large taxpayer unit (LTU) of NBR submitted its final report on the tax dispute on January 28, which was later rejected by the NBR itself, as it was not signed by all stakeholders in the telecom sector.
LTU submitted the final report, placing claims worth Tk 3,010 crore on the four operators. But the amount was only around Tk 250 crore in an interim report filed in September last year by a review committee.
In 2012, NBR claimed Tk 3,062.16 crore from the four operators, arguing that the operators had resold SIM cards and dodged taxes between July 2009 and December 2011.
The NBR claimed the amount, which includes 15 percent interest, by examining only 20 SIM cards of the operators. Refuting the claim, all four operators went to court, which returned the issue to NBR for a solution.
Sunil Kanti Bose, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, said the chiefs of the four mobile also met him yesterday after the meeting with the NBR chairman.
“We will provide a guideline by Sunday.”


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