Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Tuesday expressed the hope that the number of registered taxpayers would increase and cross 25 lakh by the end of the current fiscal year.
The figure may be a satisfactory one considering the current level of taxpayers. But in international context there is nothing to be delighted, he said at the opening ceremony of the seventh weeklong national income tax fair and online returns filing system held at the under-construction NBR building at Agargaon in Dhaka.
Currently, there are around 21 lakh online taxpayers identification number holders in the country.
In last fiscal year of 2015-16, only around 13 lakh people submitted tax returns and paid income tax which is shameful for a nation of 16 crore people, he said.
At the function, he urged the taxpayers to file tax returns online sitting at home and office.
‘You can avoid seeing the face of the taxmen if you don’t like them as you need not visit the tax offices for tax payment,’ he said.
NBR officials said that taxpayers would have to visit the respective income tax circle office only once to obtain user ID and password for getting access to the online system for filing tax returns.
Taxpayers will get the application form at the fair venues across the country. They can also get the copy downloading from the e-filing website www.etaxnbr.gov.bd
Regarding the target of new taxpayers, Muhith said that initially the government set a target of netting 3 lakh new taxpayers within the current fiscal year but the NBR has already brought 3.50 lakh people under the net.
‘I am also hopeful to place the national budget worth Tk 5 lakh crore in FY 2018-2019, the last year of the tenure of the incumbent government,’ he said.
He said that the fair started in 2010 brought results in creating awareness among people and motivating them to pay income tax as the number of taxpayers in the country has been rising.
There will be seven-day fair at divisional headquarters, four-day at district headquarters, two-day at 29 Upazilas and one-day mobile fair at 57 Upazilas between Tuesday and November 7.
People should pay more tax so that the government can spend more to improve the livelihood of people, he said.
Even students who earn should pay tax as there is no limit of age for tax payment, he added.
State minister for finance and planning MA Mannan instructed the NBR to make the tax payment least painful and easy.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Abdul Matlub Ahmad suggested the government for introducing tax police, constructing regional tax complexes at various parts in Dhaka, divisional cities and district headquarters, establishing tax wing at foreign missions and deployment of officials who are expert in tax, customs and VAT issues at various wings of the finance ministry.
Tax police may give reminder to the taxpayers for paying undisputed taxes, he said.
NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman said that taxmen were emphasising on enforcement activities to prevent dishonest people from tax evasion along with arranging the fair to increase self compliance of the taxpayers.
NBR member (tax administration and human resource management) Abdur Razzak also spoke at the function.
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