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FBR takes Telenor to court over tax default

A Twitter post by Telenor Pakistan said that “Telenor takes great pride in being a law-abiding and ethical Pakistani citizen. We have reservations regarding the tax demand raised by FBR and have filed an appeal in Islamabad High Court, for which a ruling is awaited”.

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The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has frozen the bank accounts of Telenor Pakistan, alleging income tax default amounting to approximately Rs 3.5 billion. According to recent reports, Telenor has challenged this at the Islamabad High Court to obtain a stay order from the court, and the company expects a stay order to be given in two days.

A Twitter post by Telenor Pakistan said that “Telenor takes great pride in being a law-abiding and ethical Pakistani citizen. We have reservations regarding the tax demand raised by FBR and have filed an appeal in Islamabad High Court, for which a ruling is awaited”.

Telenor has faced similar cases in the past, but most of them were either overturned or stayed. However, this time, according to local media sources, the company’s appeal would be dismissed by the court and direct the company to the due taxes.

Read more: Telenor ready to pay $224.6m, legal battle continues

The inquiry was initiated by FBR’s Large Taxpayers department, and the board has also issued notices to third parties which are holding capital on behalf of the telecom company. The FBR is also considering sending notices to all franchises in Pakistan for the recovery of the amount payable by the telecom company. It is also considering writing a letter to the company’s head office in Norway to seek the timely payment of the amount due.

Through the international taxes wing, the Federal Board of Revenue is thinking about freezing and liquidating the company’s assets in Pakistan. Deliberation on freezing of the company’s assets such as mutual funds, investment bonds, and Sukuks is currently ongoing, but no such action has been initiated till now.

Telenor Pakistan Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Kamal Ahmed responding to recent allegations against the telecommunication company said that “we take immense pride in our position as one of the leading contributors to the national exchequer.”

He further added that “We recently received a notice from the Federal Board of Revenue for the recovery of a disputed tax demand adding that we have reservations on these alleged tax demands and have challenged the notice and appealed the order within the hierarchy of Islamabad High Court, ”

Read more: HBL & Telenor Pakistan join together to promote financial inclusion!

Prior to this, the Federal Board of Revenue entered into a tussle with another telecom company in Pakistan. The board sealed the main office after alleging nonpayment of Rs25.393 billion income tax for the tax year 2018

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