Maungdaw, Arakan State: The income tax officer has been collecting double tax from the owners of old vehicles in Maungdaw since October 31, said a vehicle owner.
“The new civilianized government had announced a policy for vehicle owners hand over old vehicles to the authorities, and the owners would then be issued a permit to import a new vehicle. But in Maungdaw and Buthidaung, most of the owners of old vehicles are members of the Rohingya community and are not able to hand over the old vehicles in Akyab (Sittwe) because of restrictions to their movements,” the source explained.
“Therefore, the old vehicles’ owners from northern Arakan State sold their old vehicles to members of the Rakhine community from Akyab who are working on this business.”
The Maungdaw income tax office issued a letter to all owners of old vehicles to meet an officer on 31 October. At the meeting, Assistant Income Tax Officer Sein Shin asked the owners who sold their vehicles to pay sales tax, said an officer from the income tax office of Maungdaw.
“Sales tax was already paid by the Rakhines who bought the vehicles from Rohingya owners and paid tax in Akyab before they handed over the vehicles to the authorities to get a permit to import a new vehicle.”
“Usually the sales tax is paid by buyer, not the seller.”
Now the Maungdaw income tax officer is asking for more sales tax from Rohingya vehicle owners, which has made the Rohingya community uneasy in their business, said an old businessman from Maungdaw.
“The old vehicles are very old – some were used in World War II, and the Rohingya are keeping these kind of vehicles for transport in northern Arakan.”