Contrary to the FBR action, the spokesperson for Mobilink Hussain Ali Talib clarified that the FBR’s ruling on Sales Tax and FED issue is sub-judice.

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue on Thursday attached all bank accounts of Pakistan Mobile Communications Ltd (Mobilink) and blocked its imports on account of mis-declaration of sales tax and federal excise duty.

However, the spokesman of the cellular company, Hussain Ali Talib, said the matter is sub-judice. Contrary to this, FBR spokesperson Ms Riffat Shaheen Qazi said that the cellular company owed Rs8.6 billion to the tax department on account of mis-declaration.

The demand was created on account of non-payment of Federal Excise Duty (FED) and Sales Tax on inter-connect charges of Mobilink. And the said demand for collection was upheld at both the appellate forums, the spokesperson said.

“As of today, all bank accounts of the company have been attached and imports blocked accordingly. Further action will be taken by the next working day,” the spokesperson confirmed.

A statement issued by the FBR said that the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal recently upheld the decision of Large Taxpayer Unit, Islamabad, and confirmed the payable tax amount of Rs8.6 billion by the Mobilink.

A senior official in the FBR, who is familiar with the development, told Dawn that similar demand was created for non-payment of FED and sales tax on inter-connect charges by Ufone and Telenor and PTCL.

However, the official said the demand was stayed in the case of Telenor and Ufone, cellular companies which will be brought for hearing on May 29.

But contrary to the FBR action, the spokesperson for Mobilink Hussain Ali Talib clarified that the FBR’s ruling on Sales Tax and FED issue is sub-judice.

He further said that Mobilink is one of the largest corporate tax payers in Pakistan, and has always remained at the forefront of making its due contribution to the nation’s exchequer.

In 2011 alone, Mobilink paid taxes amounting to Rs34 billion. Over its 17-year history of operations, Mobilink has remained committed to Pakistan, and respectful of all laws, including tax laws, which govern over Pakistan, Mr Talib said in a statement.

A FBR statement said that on receiving the decision of the Tribunal, Syed Ijaz Hussain, Chief Commissioner, LTU, Islamabad formed various teams of officers, headed by Commissioner, LTU, Malik Mohammad Ashraf, to recover the amount from the company through attachment of bank accounts, blocking of imports and recovery through suppliers of the company, which include other telecom companies as well as Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the statement added.

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