National Board of Revenue has delayed the introduction of the online VAT returns submission by at least two months as it failed to complete the legal procedures required to launch the system within the deadline.
The revenue board has yet to finalise the value-added tax rules and forms related to VAT payment for launching the system from November 1 as per schedule of the VAT Online Project.
As per the changed plan, the online submission of VAT returns will be open for traders from January 1, 2018, an NBR high official told New Age on Monday.
He said that hopefully the legal procedures including finalisation of rules would be completed within December.
According to officials, the rules and forms are supposed to be finalised after consultation with stakeholders, particularly representatives of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
NBR took the move to amend the existing VAT rules and forms for continuing the automated VAT system under the VAT Act-1991 after the government deferred the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 until July, 2019.
The new law with full automation of the country’s VAT system was scheduled to come into force from July this year.
The government adopted the VAT Online Project at a cost of Tk 556 crore to automate the VAT system including online registration of business identification number, online VAT returns submission and VAT payment under the new law.
Finance minister AMA Muhith in September approved the VOP’s plan to
launch online returns submission under the 1991 law.
He also approved the draft rules and forms, and instructed the revenue board to finalise the rules after consultation with FBCCI.
Officials said that the VAT wing of the NBR in mid-October sought nomination of four representatives from the FBCCI for holding consultation on the draft amendment of the VAT Rules-1991.
Though FBCCI sent the names of representatives, headed by its first vice-president Sheikh Fazle Fahim, both the sides were yet to fix the date for meeting due to busy schedule of its top officials.
Fahim is now abroad while NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman may go abroad shortly, they have said.
The consultation may be arranged sometimes next week as they may return by the time, they guess.
The NBR will finalise the VAT rules after accommodating the opinion of business leaders and then the rules will be sent to the law ministry for vetting, says a senior official of the NBR.
‘It may need even December to complete the process,’ he said.
The process might take more time if the NBR failed to convince the FBCCI the necessity of continuation of automation programme under the old law and if the law ministry officials raised any objection, he said.
The project officials said that they had completed necessary technical preparations including conducting user acceptance test to launch the online submission of VAT returns.
They were also making other preparations including holding meetings with businesses under the large taxpayers unit of the NBR over the issue as initially the system would be open for them, they said.
Earlier in March last year, NBR launched online registration of BIN, known as VAT identification number, for businesses.
NBR will accept only e-BINs from January 1, 2018 as the manual BIN will be invalid from December 30, 2017.
So far, some 64,199 businesses, old and new, have obtained e-BIN.
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