The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has unearthed tax evasion to the tune of Tk1,676 crore, by 233 government and private entities in fiscal year 2020-21, dominated by companies in banking, insurance and other financial institutions.
Tax officials unearthed these evasions conducting audits of these entities as the revenue authority suspected they were not paying the value-added tax (VAT) properly, said Moinul Khan, director general of the VAT Audit, Intelligence and Investigation Directorate.
Furthermore, the directorate found that out of 1,974 entities surveyed, 1,458 had not enabled electronic VAT registration, Moinul said.
This senior VAT official also said they discovered incidents of tax dodging to be five times greater in fiscal year 2020-21 compared to the previous fiscal.
Of the 233 entities, the Chattogram Port Authority (PCA) evaded Tk462 crore in VAT, followed by Premier Bank, Tk145 crore, United Commercial Bank Tk126 crore, BASIC Bank Tk101 crore, Janata Bank Tk50 crore, and American Life Insurance Limited avoided paying VAT of Tk49 crore.
Sonali Bank also dodged Tk44 crore in VAT, ICB Capital Management Tk26 crore, Delta Life Insurance Tk25 crore, DPSSTS School Tk23 crore, and LankaBangla Finance dodged Tk20 crore.
However, the revenue board realised Tk134.6 crore in VAT from some other companies with the strong drive run by VAT Intelligence.
Among these companies, Akhter Furniture paid Tk40 crore, Mohammadi Trading Tk39 crore, Charuta Private Limited Tk30 crore, Ujala Paints Tk27 crore, Hotel Lakeshore Tk17 crore, and a few others.
Apart from this, the directorate last year surveyed 15,482 shops in 25 retail markets of Dhaka and found that few shop owners had 13-digit VAT registrations.
In May this year, it also conducted a survey in 17 other Dhaka markets and discovered that of the 1,974 shops visited, only 516 had registered business identification numbers (BIN), meaning 77% of the business establishments were outside the VAT net.