Freezing of Bank Accounts of Private Universities by NBR

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) in Bangladesh has recently taken a significant action by freezing the bank accounts of several private universities due to non-payment of income taxes. This move comes after the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the government's decision to impose a 15% income tax on private educational institutions, overturning a previous High Court verdict that had declared the tax imposition illegal¹.

The affected universities, which include prominent names such as North South University, American International University Bangladesh, and East West University, have been directed to clear their tax dues. The NBR's decision has caused considerable concern among these institutions, especially as it coincides with the festive period of Eid-ul-Fitr, potentially affecting the payment of salaries and bonuses to staff ².

The Association for Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) has expressed its distress over the timing of the account freezes, emphasizing the adverse impact on the essential services for students and the financial well-being of the staff. APUB has called for an immediate intervention from the government to unfreeze the accounts and delay the tax collection until the full text of the Supreme Court's verdict is released and the legal issues are resolved¹².

This situation highlights the ongoing tension between the government's tax policies and the operational realities of private educational institutions. The resolution of this issue will be closely watched, as it has implications for the financial stability of the private education sector and the broader discourse on taxation and governance in Bangladesh.


(1) Non-payment of tax: NBR freezes bank accounts of 12 pvt univs.

(2) Private universities call for unfreezing bank accounts before Eid.

(3) NBR freezes bank accounts of 40 pvt univs for tax evasion.