My Republica, December 03, 2019
KATHMANDU: The Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) filed cases against 50 firms and individuals on charge of revenue evasion over the first four months of the current fiscal year.
Most of the cases were related to the use of fake value added tax (VAT) bills and evading excise duty and customs duty. During the period, the department took action against 15 firms that were found using fake VAT bills to evade taxes.
DRI Director General Dirgha Raj Mainali said the department many defrauding firms were under investigation over the past year. According to him, the department has been investigating against 25 cases related to the use of fake VAT bills. “We are now focusing our investigations on the big players that are suspected to have evaded large amount of taxes,” added Mainali.
With the government acting tough against tax evaders, the department has intensified its drive against defrauding firms. Time and again, Minister for Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwada has been reiterating the government’s commitment to improve tax compliance and control evasion.
According to Mainali, the department last month investigated four cases related to evasion of taxes worth Rs 360.27 million. Last week, the department had filed cases against 26 tax evaders. Of them, 25 traders are facing action for submitting fake VAT bills to evade taxes, while one is involved in smuggling of gold.
During the period, Abdullah Musalman, proprietor of Lumbini Pan Masala and Tobacco Products, and Dujman Thapa, proprietor of NS Traders and Suppliers, were found to have evaded taxes worth Rs 13.25 million by using fake VAT bills. Under the same charge, the department filed case against Ram Prasad Chaulagain, proprietor of Prabha Enterprises, and Ram Krishna Dhakal, proprietor of PC Traders, for evading taxes amounting to a combined Rs 8.67 million.
In a separate case, 21 traders, including Binod Kumar Agrawal from Dhobighat, Lalitpur, and Bikas Agrawal from Hattiban, were found to have evaded taxes amounting to Rs 1.29 billion. The accused allegedly issued fake VAT bills through 13 different firms.
The body responsible for investigating revenue theft also filed a case against Topke Bhote on charge of smuggling 25 kg of gold. The department has sought Rs 151.32 million in damage and three-folds of the amount in fines.
Last September, the government made amendment to Revenue Leakage Control Act to curb tax evasion and money laundering. In addition, the government has also brought online vehicle consignment and tracking system (VCTS) which is targeted at keeping records of all cargo vehicles to prevent tax evasion.
Mainali told Republica that the implementation of VCTS has helped the department to effectively track the cases of revenue leakage. So far, 60,000 users have joined the VCTS.