The VAT Audit, Intelligence & Investigation Directorate has filed a case against Runner Automobiles Ltd for allegedly evading more than Tk15 crore in VAT by concealing product sales information.
VAT Intelligence said in a statement on Wednesday that the company had been sued for discrepancies in the actual sale price and return filings in the last five years.
Runner Auto, the two-wheeler pioneer of the country, will now have to pay Tk20.85 crore to the government.
Runner Auto officials have declined the allegation, saying the company has been compliant with all relevant rules and laws.
The case was filed following a raid by the VAT intelligence directorate into Runner Auto's head office last March in response to a complaint from a buyer who wished to remain anonymous, officials said.
In a statement, the VAT intelligence directorate said Runner Auto has evaded Tk15.59 crore in VAT by hiding sales of Tk70.47 crore from July 2016 to June 2021.
According to the VAT Act, the company now has to pay the evaded amount along with a monthly interest of 2%.
Meanwhile, Runner Auto officials said the company has been doing business in compliance with applicable laws.
"We are saddened by the sudden shock of case filing," said Runner Automobiles Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Shanat Datta.
"We have been cooperating with the VAT Intelligence officials by providing detailed documents on time. The case was filed on the very day when we submitted our last batch of documents they asked for," he added.
Asked about the consequences, the finance head of the listed firm said, "Since we are confident that we have been doing business in a compliant way, we do not have any such provision for the asked amount."
Runner made over Tk900 crore contribution to the national exchequer in the five fiscal years up to 2020-21, of which VAT was Tk154.31 crore, Shanat Datta said, adding that "the claimed figure of Tk15.59 crore in VAT evasion must be a misunderstanding."
The company has two options now – paying the claimed amount as a total of unpaid VAT, and the accrued interest on the figure, or going for an appeal. Shanat opined that his firm will take the appeal route.