The National Board of Revenue has decided to appoint a focal point officer at all income tax offices across the country to provide one stop services related to income tax to foreign investors and taxpayers.
The decision was taken keeping with recommendations of the EU-Bangladesh Business Dialogue, a platform of European Union Business Council and Bangladesh commerce ministry, officials of the revenue board said.
Investors and taxpayers from EU and other countries complain at various forum that they face problems in getting services on tax matters in absence of any dedicated officer at the tax offices.
The income tax wing of the NBR last week asked its 29 income tax zones to assign a senior official ranking above joint commissioner who will assist foreign investors and taxpayers, both corporate and individual, on tax related issues.
Income tax commissioners were also instructed to urgently send the names, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of the officers to the NBR.
EU-Bangladesh Business Dialogue has already held two meetings in 2016 and the third meeting will be held in 2017.
At earlier meetings, the EU identified some problems mainly related to tax regime and trade facilitation, and requested the government for solving the issues to improve the situation for EU trade and investment in the country.
EU representatives said that the revenue board had a large taxpayers unit to provide services to large taxpayers but small- and medium-sized firms do not have such place for getting services.
Small- and medium-sized firms have been facing problems in getting services on tax matters as investors have very little idea of where to go and receive services, they said.
They suggested for a one stop service window at tax offices for information on taxes where foreign SMEs will get guidance on their queries on the tax regime.
A high level meeting held at commerce ministry on May 29 decided to form a tax services team at tax zones by July.
It also decided that the NBR would notify the EU representatives in Dhaka and the tax working group of the platform as soon as the tax service team becomes operational.
Officials of the revenue board said that they would forward the names of the team soon after getting the names of focal point officers from the field offices.
The NBR has also nine tax information and service centres, two in Dhaka and seven in other divisional cities of the country, to assist taxpayers on tax matters.
But the decision of assigning a top official as focal point officer at each zone was taken to make the services easier and efficient to foreign taxpayers, they said.
They said that though most of the foreign taxpayers pay their income tax at certain tax zones, foreign investors and taxpayers used to visit the tax offices near their factories or proposed place of investment.
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