Non-acceptance of duty, taxes: SBP launches surprise inspection of bank branches

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has launched surprise inspection of bank branches across the country on complaints received from taxpayers that banks were not accepting duty, taxes through over the counter (OTC).

In a circular issued on Monday, the SBP said that banks are required to enable their OTC Channel for collection of taxes and duties and advise their branches to comply meticulously with the above instructions.

“However, despite above clear instructions, the complaints regarding non-acceptance of taxes particularly the mobile levy through banks’ OTC Channel are piling up unabatedly.”

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and general public reported numerous instances whereby commercial banks are not accepting over the counter payments of Customs Duty and other taxes including mobile levy against PSIDs generated by the WeBoc system.

“The increasing large number of complaints shows that the branches are still not fully aware of the instructions to collect the taxes and duties through 1Link’s integrated/ enabled OTC facility.”

The central bank said that the matter was viewed seriously and therefore, it has been decided that SBP would conduct surprise inspection of bank branches across the country, to assess the level of dissemination of information, awareness at branches and compliance of instructions issued by SBP from time to time. “Any violation of above instructions by the branches if detected during surprise inspections i.e. the branches are found not accepting the taxes and duties from the clients approaching them with PSIDs for payment of the taxes and duties would attract strict punitive action including levy of monetary penalty,” the SBP said.

The SBP directed that keeping in view the above, the branches / Regional Offices must be advised again to ensure meticulous compliance of the instructions and facilitate the taxpayers in payment of taxes and duties.

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