Telenor Pakistan head office sealed over $16m tax dispute

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

The Punjab Revenue Authority has accused Telenor's Pakistani arm of failing to pay sales tax between July 2012 and June 2013

The Punjab Revenue Authority has sealed the provincial head office of Telenor Pakistan for an alleged tax default of Rs1.69 billion ($16.1 million) according to reports.

The PRA sealed the office over claims the mobile operator failed to pay sales tax on services payable to the Punjab government between July 2012 and June 2013, news site Dawn reported.

Telenor had pled to the commissioner of appeals to prevent the closure of the office, but this was rejected. The PRA has ordered it to clear up the tax bill, or face all of its Punjab offices being closed.

“We, along with the police, have sealed the provincial head office of a leading cellular company... for failing to pay sales tax on services payable to the Punjab government from July 2012 to June 2013,” PRA Additional Commissioner for Enforce­ment Amanullah Virk told Dawn.

“The company was given full opportunity to clear its position. Recently, on the order of the Lahore High Court, the commissioner of appeals reheard the case and declared that it would have to pay the tax.”

Telenor Pakistan said it is looking at other “remedies” available, having disputed the tax demand.