Gold traders accuse tax officials of harassment

October 13, 2020 09:49:01

| Updated:

October 13, 2020 11:14:34

File photo used for representational purpose.

The country’s gold traders have alleged that they often face questions by tax officials on the gold they legalised through paying tax.

Some VAT officials are seeking previous account details of the gold, although the jewellers have whitened the precious metal availing a government facility.

Some 17,000 jewellers legalised an estimated 1.8-million bhori (one bhori is equivalent to 11.664 grams) undisclosed gold paying Tk 2.50-billion taxes in a gold fair from June 23-25 in 2019.

Under the opportunity, no question can be raised on the source of the gold, cut and polished diamond or silver that were legalised.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) also issued a statutory regulatory order (SRO) to this effect.

The SRO restricted income tax officials to seek account details on the declared gold. There is no bar from VAT officials to scrutinise the details.

Last month, Bangladesh Jewellery Samity (BAJUS) president Enamul Haque Khan requested the NBR not to seek the details before June 30, 2019, from the jewellers.

He also sought a congenial environment to operate the business without harassment. Such a move by some entities is creating panic among gold traders, he wrote.

Talking to the FE, Mr Khan said VAT audit department is raising questions and seeking previous account details of the traders.

The jewellers availed the opportunity following the government’s assurances that no question would be raised, he asserted.

“Our members have already received two letters from the VAT wing in this regard,” Mr Khan mentioned.

However, Moinul Khan, director general of VAT audit, intelligence and investigation directorate, said they have not started any such audit in recent times.

He said there is a previous audit case of a jewellery house which is under process.

“We will hold a dialogue with jewellers in this connection to know about the issue,” he added.

Jewellers said they had availed the opportunity and responded positively in the gold fair to end mistrust among taxmen but it still continues.

The fair was held in Dhaka and seven other divisional cities across the country.

Gold traders legalised their undisclosed stocks of gold through paying Tk 1,000 per bhori.

Apart from gold, the traders also legalised undisclosed diamond by paying Tk 6,000 for each carat and Tk 50 for silver per bhori.

They disclosed their stocks of the precious metal by filling in a form and paying taxes.

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