The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh has proposed a number of changes to taxation rules and regulations, including reduction of appeal fee for any disputed tax issue and withdrawal of all sorts of taxes on mobile phone internet.
The association made the proposal to the National Board of Revenue in February this year ahead of the fiscal budget for the year 2018-2019 following a letter from the taxation authority in January.
The wide range of amendment proposal of AMTOB also includes rationalising corporate taxes of mobile phone operators in line with other sectors, scrapping of double taxation provisions, minimum income taxes provisions and withdrawal of SIM replacement taxes.
The AMTOB proposal, issued by its secretary general TIM Nurul Kabir, said that as per existing law mobile phone operators were supposed to pay 0.75 per cent of total sales value.
The provision of taking income tax from sales is irrational, unjustified and contradictory to the basic principles of income tax law as there may not be any profit from sales proceeds, the proposal said.
At present, corporate taxes are applicable at the rate of 35 per cent and 25 per cent on non-listed and listed companies respectively other than telecom operators, it said.
The mobile phone operators, however, were supposed to pay higher taxes at the rate of 45 per cent for non-listed and 40 per cent for listed companies, and thus hindering investments in the sector as well as digitisation of the country.
AMTOB demanded that the publicly listed mobile phone operators should get 10 per cent tax rebate to help develop the telecom sector.
Mentioning about applicable taxation on non-resident service providers with no office in Bangladesh, the association said that the provision of taking tax exemption certificate from NBR should be waived for them.
To facilitate expansion of the telecom sector, the applicable value-added tax and supplementary duty on SIM or RIM cards
issuance or replacement should be withdrawn, it said.
At present, mobile phone operators are supposed to pay Tk 110 for issuing a new SIM or RIM card and Tk 100 for replacement of any existing one.
The AMTOB proposal said that the applicable 21.75 per cent tax on mobile internet use should be withdrawn with a view to reducing mobile internet prices for making its price consistent with broadband price.
It also said that the mobile phone operators were supposed to pay 10 per cent appeal fee for submission of any petition with the tax appellate tribunal and 25 per cent for filing a petition with the High Court on any disputed issue.
The association proposed that the revenue board should set the fee at 10 per cent for filing an appeal with the tax appellate tribunal as well as with the high court.
Considering the non-profit-making scenario, the mobile phone operators should be allowed to spend 10 per cent of the revenue for employees as incentive bonus instead of the existing provision that allows any operator to spend the highest 10 per cent of profit in that purpose, the proposal said.
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