The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has served a notice to ARY News, demanding Rs992 million which the channel owes to the tax body, The News has reported.
The entity has evaded millions of rupees in taxes through misrepresentation, concealment and misuse of exemptions, causing a substantial loss to the national exchequer, reports quoted FBR as saying.
The body also claimed that in a bid to escape the fresh tax demand, the media house allegedly tampered with previously-submitted official agreement documents — which was discovered by the authorities.
The investigation from FBR states that “an offshore related party (co-owned) entity ARY FZLLC undertook transactions with the other two companies, ARY COMM and ARY Films and TV Productions Pvt, which by, virtue of section 85 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, were its associates”.
The investigation further revealed that the tripartite agreement was used to allow the three companies to settle their receivables and payables in Pakistan on behalf of ARY FZLLC.
The media group’s tax assessment showed that it obtained exemptions by claiming to export locally-produced content to the offshore entity in order to evade local taxes.
However, ARY Communications has accused the FBR of conducting a fishing expedition and also added that the proceedings were “based on whims, assumptions, and guesswork”.
Reports further revealed that FBR served the tax notice to the channel despite facing a lot of pressure from influential quarters to withdraw any such demand.