NBR requests BB to freeze Premier Bank’s account

LTU detects evasion of VAT worth Tk 201m

FE Report | Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) Tuesday requested the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to freeze the current account of Premier Bank Limited as a strategy to realise taxes worth Tk 201 million that the private commercial bank allegedly evaded, officials said.
The Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) of the Value Added Tax (VAT) wing wrote a letter to the central bank governor, Fazle Kabir, requesting him to freeze the account for three working days.
The bank maintains the account with the Motijheel branch of the central bank.
This is the first time the VAT authority requested to freeze the account of any bank.
According to officials, the account is set to be frozen from today for next three working days.
As per the law, VAT officials are empowered to freeze the bank account of any VAT-payers after detecting any evasion or other irregularities.
Under the sub-section 4 of section 26 of the VAT Act -1991, the LTU made the request to the central bank for recovering the VAT.
In the letter, signed by LTU commissioner Matiur Rahman, the unit requested the BB to open up the frozen bank account instantly just after payment of the arrears.
A senior official of the VAT wing said the unit detected the unpaid tax revenue that was realised at source from clients and against other banking services.
On October 3 this year, a team of the LTU visited the head office of the Premier Bank and detected the unpaid amount of VAT through examining the 'consolidated affairs' of August, 2017 of the bank.
The team was consisted of deputy commissioner Farida Yasmin, assistant commissioner Md Bodruzzaman Munshi and assistant revenue officer Mirza Golam Hossain.
It identified unpaid VAT worth Tk 216.2 million deducted at source and Tk 13.2 million deducted from banking services.
Officials said the Premier Bank paid only Tk 28.3 million in that month.
When contacted, managing director and chief executive officer of Premier Bank Khondker Fazle Rashid said he was outside his office and advised this scribe to talk to the bank's CFO (Chief Financial Officer).
Talking to the FE, CFO Mohammad Abdul Hye said he was not aware of the unpaid VAT.
"We did not receive any notice from the VAT wing after they visited our office," he said, acknowledging the recent visit of the VAT team on October 3 last.

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