Bangladesh High Court declares VAT on mobile phone SIM card illegal

Posted on August 27, 2006  /  4 Comments

Extortion in the name of tax is taxtortion. That’s what I challenged when Bangladesh government imposed VAT on every new mobile conection last year. Last Thursday the High Court division of Bangladesh Supreme Court has declared it illegal. Read the details in this link



  1. Abu-da, that is a great achievement indeed! Congratulations. Not often does a private citizen take on the might of the state and win, especially in our part of the world.

  2. In Sri Lanka it is other way around
    All phones do charge VAT
    They issue VAT Invoice on billing system only

    But on prepaid system we are unable to obtain a VAT INVOICE.
    None of the telephone companies issue a VAT invoice even if you write and request.
    All these compaines never acknowledge the VAT payments on prepaid system

    They do collect VAT from the users. Then why cant they issue a VAT invoice for VAT payers on prepaid system. Even inland revenue do have a blind eye on this issue.

    May be VAT Dinos are around!!!!

    Donald Gaminitillake

  3. Donald,

    Do not blame the phone companies. It is the government that stipulates that no business enterprise should indicate VAT amount separately in their invoices to the END CUSTOMER.

    Even the post paid customers do not get an invoice showing the VAT they pay.

    I am not against imposing a tax on telecom usage, but that should be done in a methodical manner and keeping in mind that it is not just the Colombo 7 elite who uses mobile phones.

    When a robber was asked why he always robs banks only pat came the reply “That is where money is”.

    Our fiscal policy makers too are like that. They tax from where money is. Whether it is fair or not is secondary.

    According to the prevailing rules if you telecast a dubbed 30 min foreign teledrama you have to pay Rs. 90,000 as tax, while if you telecast the same darned thing without dubbing, you have to pay much less.

    You are forgiven for thinking it is the legendary king Kekille who imposed these taxes.

  4. Quote
    VAT amount separately in their invoices to the END CUSTOMER

    They do have to indicate the VAT ammount to the VAT registered payer.
    This is a mandotary rule.

    When a VAT registered person write and request a VAT invoice they have to issue a proper VAT invoice. This is not done on prepaid system.

    post paid customers do not get an invoice showing the VAT they pay.

    If you are a VAT registerd person you can get a VAT invoice for Direct billing.

    VAT is shown only for VAT registered persons.

    “”MY question is misunderstod by you.””

    IF A VAT registered person request a VAT invoice form a VAT registered institute who collect VAT unconditionally this institute has to issue a VAT invoice. None of the Telephone compnies issue a VAT invoice for VAT registered person for prepaid services. This is an illegal act.

    Donald Gaminitillake