The National Board of Revenue on Monday demanded Tk 822.53 crore in unpaid value-added tax from Premier Bank saying that the bank evaded the VAT in last five years.
Large Taxpayers Unit (VAT) of the revenue board on the day issued a primary demand notice along with a show-cause notice giving the bank 15 days to explain in writing why the amount would not be collected by the tax authority.
The bank will also be able to avail the scope for hearings on the issue, according to the notice.
The tax office will settle the case in legal way based on merits of documents it have if the bank does not submit written reply within the deadline, the notice stated.
Officials of the NBR said that the LTU, after scrutiny of VAT returns of the bank submitted for the period from January 2013-October 2017, found that the bank claimed VAT exemption on Tk 5,483.52 crore without providing documents as proof of the claim.
The bank in VAT returns claimed the amount came from its sales of products and services which were VAT exempted or had zero VAT.
Of which, Tk 5,121.48 crore came from the sales of VAT exempted goods and services and the remaining Tk 362.04 crore from the sales of goods and services having VAT at zero rate, the bank claimed.
The LTU on December 6, 12 and 28 in last year and January 2 this year asked the bank to furnish the unit with supporting documents and proof in favour of the claimed exemption.
Instead of submitting documents, Premier Bank filed a writ petition with the High Court challenging the letter of the LTU.
The High Court stayed the effectiveness of the LTU letter for six months.
On January 23, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court vacated the stay order for two weeks directing the petitioners to file regular leave petition by this time.
On January 30, the NBR field office again asked the private bank to submit the documents within three working days that ended on Sunday.
‘The bank did not respond this time also. So, we have issued the primary demand notice and the show-cause notice,’ a senior NBR official told New Age.
The LTU will take its next step based on the bank’s response, he said.
The LTU demanded the VAT at the rate of 15 per cent on the amount.
Premier Bank chief financial officer Md Abdul Hye told New Age that they were yet to get any such notice.
‘We will decide our next course of action including responding to the NBR after analysing the notice, if the LTU issues any, and other relevant documents,’ he said.
The bank actually owes no VAT to the NBR and the LTU is demanding the amount due to some misunderstanding at some level, he said.
‘We are deducting VAT and depositing to the government exchequer regularly,’ he said.
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