VAT automation to continue despite suspension of new law

15pc VAT-paying businesses can submit returns online from next month

Jasim Uddin | Published: 22:58, Jul 04,2017 | Updated: 23:02, Jul 04,2017

 
 

The National Board of Revenue will continue its move to automate the value-added tax system under the existing law despite suspension of the new VAT law, officials said.
They said that online registration of business identification number (BIN) for all businesses and online submission of VAT returns for some selected business sectors would continue under the existing VAT law framed in 1991.
Initially, importers, manufacturers and large businesses which have been paying VAT at the rate of 15 per cent will come under automation as the existing system supports it and they will be able to submit VAT returns online from next month.
Large VAT-paying units have already modified their software to avail the online service.
The NBR will decide soon whether online returns submission for the selected businesses would be made mandatory or kept as optional, they added.
Field level VAT offices of the revenue board are now issuing only nine-digit online BINs, commonly known as VAT registration numbers, under the VAT Online Project taken to automate the VAT system though both 11-digit old BINs and new BINs remained effective after suspension of the implementation of the new law.
The NBR, in principle, decided to annul the old BINs and a notification in thid regard will be announced soon.
The parliament on June 28 passed the Finance Bill-2017 deferring the implementation of the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 for two more years.
The 2012 act sought to impose uniform 15 per cent VAT for all goods and services, except exempted ones, and automate the VAT system.
VAT Online Project director, also a member of the NBR, Rezaul Hasan on Tuesday told New Age that they would continue automation activities under the existing law as there is a provision in the law which supports digitisation of BIN registration, returns submission, online VAT payment, audit and other automation programmes.
Decisions related to the issues will be finalised soon, he said.
Officials involved with the VOP said that the NBR now got two more years to complete the automation of VAT.
Even if the new law is not implemented in 2019, the revenue board will bring businesses under automated VAT system under the existing VAT law, they said.
In that case, the NBR will have to bring some changes in the existing automation process which has been prepared for single 15 per cent VAT rate under the new law to accommodate multiple rates.
VOP has already communicated with the Vietnam-based vendor FPT Information System about bringing changes in the system.
They said that it would take some months to modify the online system for accommodating multiple rates.
They said that one of the major objectives of the new law was to bring businesses under automation to ensure maintenance of proper accounts.
The revenue board will also motivate the businesses which pay VAT at comparatively higher rates like 7 per cent and 9 per cent to accept the benefits of online system. 

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