Axiata’s Ncell goes to court over RM1.44b capital gains tax bill

PETALING JAYA: Axiata Group Bhd’s indirect 80% owned subsidiary Ncell Private Ltd has filed a writ petition with the Supreme Court of Nepal against the Large Taxpayer Office (LTPO) in relation to the 39.06 billion rupee (RM1.44 billion) capital gains tax slapped against it.

Ncell was ordered to pay the tax by today.

Axiata said in a statement that Ncell had on April 21 filed a writ of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to the Supreme Court against the LTPO, Inland Revenue Department of Nepal and the Ministry of Finance of Nepal.

The writ petition is against LTPO’s letter dated April 16, which was issued to Ncell as a follow-up to the full written order of the Supreme Court on April 9 in relation to its oral order dated Feb 6 on a public interest litigation.

Axiata said the Ncell application was accepted by the Supreme Court today.

“Ncell’s writ to the Supreme Court asserts that the LTPO has not complied with the procedure as stated in the country’s Income Tax Act for making a tax assessment and has instead used the Supreme Court’s order dated April 9 to substitute the amount that the LTPO had previously assessed for TeliaSonera Norway Nepal Holdings AS and levied it on Ncell,” it said.

The full written order on April 9 had stated that the LTPO should conduct an assessment to determine the outstanding tax amount to be paid in relation to the indirect transfer of an 80% stake in Ncell by TeliaSonera to Axiata Investments (UK) Limited through the sale of Reynolds Holdings Limited.

The LTPO was given three months to conduct the assessment. The Supreme Court’s order also stated that the responsibility to pay tax lies with Ncell and Axiata.

Axiata was the ninth top loser on the bourse today, falling 3.96% to close at RM3.88 with 4.11 million shares traded.

Source: The Sun Daily

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