The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court today (July 23, 2023) ordered Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus to pay Tk 12 crore tax on donations to the National Bureau of Revenue (NBR) after dismissing a leave-to-appeal in this regard.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, passed the order after hearing the leave-to-appeal submitted by Dr Yunus against a High Court verdict.
Attorney General AM Amin Uddin represented the state during the hearing, while Fida M Kamal and Barrister Abdullah Al Mamun stood for Dr Yunus.
Earlier on June 21, a leave-to-appeal was filed against the High Court verdict. On July 9, the chamber court set July 17 for hearing in the Appellate Division.
On July 17, the Appellate Division adjourned till July 23 the hearing on the appeal against the High Court verdict.
According to the petition, NBR served three separate notices claiming Tk 12,28,74,000 tax against Tk 61.57 crore donation during 2011-2012 fiscal year, Tk 1.60 crore tax against Tk 8.15 crore donation in FY 2012-2013, and Tk 1.50 crore tax against Tk 7 crore donation in FY 2013-2014 as per the Donation Tax-1990.
Dr Yunus challenged the validity of NBR's notices and filed a case in the Appellate Tribunal. According to him, NBR cannot claim tax against donations as per law.
On November 20, 2014, his application was rejected. Then in 2015, he filed three income tax reference cases in the High Court.
After that, the High Court ruled on May 31 that the tax imposed by the NBR against the money that he had donated to three trusts was valid.
After the verdict on May 31, Attorney General AM Amin Uddin told reporters that Dr Yunus had donated Tk 77 crore to three institutions. “The petitions were dismissed. Now the tax demanded by the NBR will have to be paid. The NBR had demanded more than Tk 15 crore. He (Dr Yunus) has already given around Tk 3 crore. Now the remaining Tk 12 crore will have to be paid in taxes.”