The National Board of Revenue's (NBR) VAT intelligence directorate, in a survey, has found 203 out of 263 businesses in a shopping mall of the Chattogram city do not have a VAT registration.
Although a small number of them have registered for VAT, most of them are not complying with the law.
According to the VAT Audit, Intelligence & Investigation's survey, many of the 263 establishments in the city's Mimi Super Market on Bayazid Bostami Road in the city's Nasirabad area have been doing businesses for a long time.
They sell products of various local and foreign brands and some also import goods.
According to the survey conducted under the directive of the NBR, 203 out of 263 shops do not have registrations under the new law.
They do not even pay VAT, confirmed Moinul Khan, director general of VAT intelligence directorate, on Saturday.
According to the confidential information of the directorate, the shops collect VAT from customers but do not deposit to the government exchequer. These 203 businesses do not even submit returns to the local VAT office although there is an obligation of doing so.
On the other hand, the survey shows that even though 60 establishments of the shopping mall have VAT registration, many of them are not submitting returns and VAT as per their actual sales.
Of these, only 10 have displayed VAT certificates.
According to the VAT law, it is mandatory to display the registration certificate in a place visible to customers.
Meanwhile, the NBR's VAT intelligence directorate filed separate cases against 203 unregistered shops on Sunday.
At the same time, cases were lodged against 50 registered shops under the VAT law for irregularities, mainly for not displaying VAT registration certificates. There is a provision to fine each of them Tk10,000 for this irregularity.
Apart from suing 203 unregistered establishments, the Chattogram VAT Commissionerate has been requested to recover VAT arrears with 2% interest per month based on their actual expenses from the beginning of their businesses.
The survey was conducted under the leadership of Tanvir Ahmed, deputy director, the VAT Intelligence directorate. His team visited Mimi Super Market in Chattogram on September 6.
Leaders of Mimi Super Market Owners Association were present and assisted the VAT intelligence directorate in the survey work.
According to VAT detectives, 78% shops in the big shopping malls in the port city do not pay VAT. The same scenario also prevails in other markets and retail levels of the country.
In order to create a competitive and business-friendly environment in the country, the VAT intelligence directorate is working closely with traders and the VAT Commissionerate to quickly include all VAT-eligible businesses in the VAT system. The survey work of VAT detectives will continue in other shopping malls, markets and other places of the country, said Dr Moinul Khan.