The National Board of Revenue has asked the banks to turn in information on all accounts of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, according to a letter from Tax Zone-8.
The field office of tax on August 8, 2017 issued the letter giving permission to the respective tax circle to collect information on all accounts in Khaleda Zia's name in banks, other financial institutions and post office.
The NBR asked the banks to send the information in seven days of receiving the letter.
The Tax Zone-8 also empowered the tax circle to gather all transaction related statements of the accounts since July1, 2010.
The letter, signed by Commissioner of Tax Zone-8 Abu Taher Chowdhury, directed the respective circle to send a set of copies of information and bank statements collected from the inquiry.
The commissioner declined to comment on the issue on the ground that any such information relating to any taxpayer is confidential.
Ahmed Aazam Khan, tax and legal adviser to Khaleda said he was unaware of any such move by the tax office.
He said all bank accounts of Khaleda Zia, also a former prime minister, have remained 'frozen' since the end of 2007. She can draw only Tk 50,000 monthly, he said, but can deposit as much money as she wants.
Aazam added that Central Intelligence Cell under the NBR froze all her accounts.
He said her tax returns are submitted regularly and taxes are paid through account-payee cheques. “We have proof of her return submissions up to the fiscal year 2015-16”, he added.
“We have no objection if they search Khaleda Zia's bank accounts and collect information as she submits tax returns regularly”, he said.
“It seems that this has been done with political intention to harass her,” said Aazam, who is also vice chairman of BNP.
He demanded that the tax authority unfreeze Khaleda's bank accounts because there is no tax-related cases against her.