NBR asks BB to freeze Premier Bank account

The National Board of Revenue on Tuesday requested the Bangladesh Bank to freeze the bank accounts of Premier Bank Ltd for recovering Tk 20.10 crore ‘evaded’ by the bank, said NBR officials.
Large Taxpayers Unit (Value-Added Tax) of the revenue board made the request to central bank governor Fazle Kabir to freeze the bank’s current account for three working days to realise the VAT.
The private bank maintains its current account with the Motijheel branch of the central bank.
LTU also requested the BB for unfreezing the account instantly if the Premier Bank pays the claimed VAT, said the letter signed by NBR commissioner Matiur Rahman.
Officials of the revenue board said that the private bank evaded the VAT collected from from banking service and deducted at source by not paying to the government exchequer.
They said that a team of the LTU on October 3 visited the head office of the bank and detected the evasion through examining the consolidated affairs or financial details of August 2017 of the bank.
The LTU team composed of deputy commissioner Farida Yasmin, assistant commissioner Badruzzaman Munshi and assistant revenue officer Mirza Golam Hossain found VAT evasion worth Tk 21.62 crore at VAT deducted at source and Tk 1.32 crore at VAT deducted from banking service.
On the other hand, Premier Bank paid only Tk 2.83 crore in the month.
VAT officials have the authority to freeze the bank account of any VAT-payers after detecting VAT evasion or other irregularities, said a high official of the NBR.
Under sub-section 4 of section 26 of the VAT Act-1991, the LTU made the request to the central bank to recover the evaded VAT, he said.
Premier Bank managing director and chief executive officer Khondker Fazle Rashid told New Age that chief financial officer of the bank was handling the issue.
Mohammad Abdul Hye, CFO of the bank, said that he was not aware of the claimed unpaid VAT as they did not receive any notice from the LTU in this connection.
Officials of the NBR, however, said that they issued notice to the bank.
They said that regular banking activities of the bank would be hampered if the current account with the central bank, which is considered as the mother account of a bank, remained frozen.
So, hopefully, the Premier Bank will pay the amount as soon as possible to keep their banking activities uninterrupted, they said.
The LTU will take further action if the bank does not pay the amount within three working days, they added.

Source: New Age