Ncell files Rs 13.6 billion capital gains tax

Kathmandu, June 4

Privately-owned telecom company Ncell today filed capital gains tax worth Rs 13.6 billion at the Large Taxpayers’ Office.

Interestingly, the tax was filed Just two days after the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority arrested the chief of Inland Revenue Department on allegations of corruption while fixing taxes when he was at the Tax Settlement Commission. The CGT was to be paid for the TeliaSonera-Axiata Ncell deal.

Deputy Director General (Policy Analysis and Management Division) of IRD Chandrakala Paudel told THT that Ncell filed CGT of the above mentioned amount at LTO today.

“Ncell filed taxes worth Rs 13.6 billion today, of which roughly Rs 11.5 billion is CGT while the remaining is the applicable fine,” another IRD source told this daily.  Ncell has filed the CGT amount (for the second time) following constant pressure from lawmakers and the public. The company had paid Rs 9.97 billion CGT with the government in May last year.

Ncell was dragged into controversy after the government did not receive applicable CGT in the Ncell deal worth Rs 143 billion between TeliaSonera and Axiata, the current majority shareholder of Ncell. Following immense pressure, Ncell had deposited Rs 9.97 billion CGT to the government last year. However, the controversy deepened, as lawmakers charged Ncell with not paying the actual amount of CGT. Lawmakers have been claiming that CGT amount that Ncell has to pay is in excess of Rs 30 billion.

As per existing laws, Nepal should get 25 per cent of the profit made from the TeliaSonera-Axiata deal.

Though Ncell paid CGT on Sunday two days after the CIAA arrested IRD Chief Chudamani Sharma on tax embezzlement charge, it did not end the row, as Sharma had been defending Ncell on the CGT issue and was delaying the process of collecting applicable taxes from Ncell. He had defended Ncell stating that CGT had to be collected from TeliaSonera (the seller), which was unlikely as the company had already exited Nepal.

Meanwhile, issuing a press statement this evening, Ncell said that the company was not a party to the transaction and neither had the company received nor made any payments in relation to the transaction. The deposit and closure of this matter is part of Ncell’s commitment to continue serving Nepal. Ncell also said that the LTO office had confirmed tax clearance in this matter.

Meanwhile, Ncell Managing Director Simon Perkins said, “Ncell has consistently complied with laws of the country and has, on all occasions, exercised the highest standards of compliance pertaining to fulfilment of its tax obligations.”