Businesses on Monday sought three to four months as a transitional period during the implementation of new value-added tax law to get adjusted with the new regime.
The new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 is scheduled to come into force from July 1 this year, replacing the existing VAT law.
At a dialogue with the large taxpayers unit (VAT) of the National Board of Revenue, businesses also requested the NBR to ensure smooth implementation of the new law so that they would not be harassed by taxmen.
They also requested the revenue board to notify them at least two months prior to the implementation of the new act so that they can complete their preparations including customisation of the automated system before its launch.
The LTU (VAT) arranged the programme with 30 out of the 157 large VAT-paying entities enlisted with the unit from telecom, bank, pharmaceutical and cement sectors at the Sonargaon Hotal in Dhaka.
Representatives from the companies also sought an easy system of refunding of excess tax taxpayers pay in advance.
Speaking as chief guest, Beximco Group vice-chairman Salman F Rahman said that there was apprehension among the business community that taxmen would harass them immediately after the July 1 implementation of the new law.
Businesses should get three to four months to get adjusted with the new law and the NBR should have a committee to ensure smooth implementation of the law, he said.
He also requested the business community to come under the VAT net, saying that only 35,000 out of the 8 lakh registered businesses were now submitting VAT returns.
Salman, also the private sector adviser to Awami League president Sheikh Hasina, also the prime minister, said that finance minister AMA Muhith assured a business delegation of addressing their concerns.
Seven Rings Cement chief financial officer Kawsar Alam demanded reduction in VAT rate for the cement sector from the 15 per cent set in the new law.
The representative from Crown Cement demanded an easy system of advance tax refunding, saying that the NBR did not want to give refund.
NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman assured the business community of smooth and seamless transition of the new law.
The NBR will resolve problems, if arise, through discussion with the stakeholders, he said.
LTU commissioner Matiur Rahman and assistant commissioner Badruzzaman Munshi made two presentations on overall scenario of the LTU and alternative dispute resolution.
Matiur said that the LTU collected around 56 per cent of the total VAT in the country while the 30 large VAT-paying units attending the meeting contributed 70 per cent of LTU’s collection in the fiscal year of 2015-2016.
He requested the units to settle their disputes under the ADR mechanism as the units hold Tk 16,311 crore in disputed VAT with the LTU.
NBR members Jahangir Hossain, Rezaul Hasan and Lutfor Rahman, British American Tobacco Bangladesh chairman Golam Mainuddin, Beximco Pharma chief financial officer Ali Newaz spoke, among others, at the programme.
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