The National Board of Revenue has simplified the VAT returns submission process, allowing VAT-payers to file their returns by guaranteed express post, courier service and e-mail.
Previously, traders or their representatives had to submit their value-added tax returns only by visiting their respective VAT circle offices.
VAT wing of the NBR made the decision to boost the number of VAT-payers in the country by reducing harassment in the process of VAT payment.
The NBR on Tuesday issued a general order in this connection, amending the previous order that allowed returns filling only by visiting the VAT offices.
The revenue board also asked its field offices to set up a help desk at each office for the first 15 days of each month for receiving VAT returns and issuing acknowledgement receipts.
According to NBR officials, the revenue board thinks that traders would be encouraged to file returns following the decision.
It would also save the cost and time of traders in filling returns, they said.
Previously, traders or their representatives had to collect receipts as proof of returns submission.
Under the new system, VAT officials will send the acknowledgement receipts to VAT-payers by post, courier or e-mail or bearer.
Traders have to file VAT returns each month.
Many traders avoid filing VAT returns fearing harassment like delay in providing services and seeking bribe by the VAT officials at the circle offices, sources said.
The process is also time-consuming as well as costly in cities particularly in Dhaka and Chittagong where traffic congestions are severe and intolerable.
Traders in many growth centres and posh upazilas in the country have to travel long distances to find VAT
offices, mostly located in district headquarters.
Currently, there are 8.40 lakh manual business identification number holders in the country.
Of which, only 32,000-35,000 traders regularly file VAT returns.
The number of VAT returns, however, increased by 88 per cent to 60,000 in the current fiscal year 2017-2018 following the automation of BIN issuance process and intensive monitoring by the VAT authority.
The NBR in April last year started issuing e-BINs and the number of e-BINs has reached 84,123 so far and from April this year all manual BINs will become obsolete.
NBR officials said for insurance companies the help desk (to be set up at circle offices) would remain active in the first 20 days of each month against the first 15 days for the other business sectors.
VAT officials will instantly receive the returns at the help desk without scrutiny and issue the acknowledgement receipt mentioning the names of documents provided with the returns.
In case of GEP and courier service, traders will have to send returns three days before (by the 12th of a month) the deadline.
VAT officials will send the acknowledgement receipts by post, courier, e-mail or bearer by the next working day after receiving the returns.
Traders will be able to file complete returns having the number of documents up to five pages by e-mail.
A trader, however, will be allowed to send the front page of his/her VAT returns by e-mail before sending the other documents through other means.
Traders will have to attach the verified copy of treasury challan after verifying those at the web site of Controller General of Accounts (www.cga.gov.bd) along with the original copy of treasury challan.
The NBR order also asked the field-level VAT officials to upload the top sheet of returns, excluding the attached documents, on the Integrated VAT Administration System of the VAT Online system.
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