The National Board of Revenue detected income tax evasion worth Tk 869 crore through scrutiny assessment of the tax returns submitted under the universal self-assessment since the fiscal year 2011-12.
A total of 29,278 taxpayers evaded the tax through making ‘arithmetic errors’ in calculating the income tax, according to the data of the revenue board.
The NBR also found less than 1 per cent of income tax returns faulty having mainly arithmetic errors in tax calculation and incorrect claims including rebate and refund.
Field-level income tax officials scruntinised up to 97 per cent of tax returns submitted under the scheme in the years and found the highest 0.92 per cent returns flawed.
The revenue board in the FY 2015-16 incorporated a legal provision, known as process of returns, in the Income Tax Ordinance-1984 to scrutinise all the income tax returns to prevent misuse of the universal self-assessment scheme and arithmetic errors in tax calculation.
More than 95 per cent taxpayers submit their tax returns under the scheme introduced in FY 2007-08 to encourage voluntary payment of tax.
Under the system, taxpayers calculate their own tax and submit income tax returns which the revenue board accepts without any question if the returns are found complete and correct.
Tax officials said that many of taxpayers’ arithmetic errors, either intentionally or mistakenly, in calculating the income tax under the system caused revenue loss of the government.
Though the revenue board framed legal framework for scrutiny assessment in FY 2016, tax officials unofficially would check the returns.
According to the NBR data, tax officials scrutinised 5.67 lakh tax returns in FY 2012 and found only 5,226 faulty returns. In the year, some 6.89 lakh taxpayers submitted tax returns.
In FY 2013, they also found problems in 5,705 tax returns, 5,131 returns in FY 2014 and 3,657 returns in FY 2015 out of scrutinised returns of 7.17 lakh, 7.95 lakh and 7.79 lakh returns respectively.
After introduction of legal provision, the tax officials scrutinised 9.38 lakh returns in FY 2016 and found only 6,606 were faulty. Taxpayers submitted 9.65 lakh returns under universal self-assessment scheme in the year.
Officials said that field offices were now processing tax returns submitted in the last FY 2017.
They have already completed scrutiny of 2.80 lakh returns out of total 12.72 lakh returns and found 2,983 faulty returns.
Tax officials detected Tk 35 crore in FY 2012, Tk 396 crore in FY 2013, Tk 78 crore in FY 2014, Tk 235 crore in FY 2015, Tk 93 crore in FY 2016 and Tk 32 crore in FY 2017, according to the data.
Of the tax amount detected through the process, tax offices managed to realise only Tk 59 crore up to April, 2017 while Tk 810 crore remained unrealised due mainly to disputes between the taxpayers and the tax authority.
Officials said that many taxpayers had challenged the demand of the revenue board at courts.
Field offices are taking various steps including sending notices to realise the dues and every month they are getting a significant portion of the amount.
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