Several lakh individual taxpayers submitted time petition seeking additional time for paying income tax with filing tax returns as the fixed deadline for the same ended on Wednesday amid huge response from taxpayers.
A large number of individuals thronged the temporary booths of the field level offices of the NBR to file their tax returns and time petitions on the day as NBR fixed November 30 as the last date of returns submission which the NBR observed as the Tax Day for the first time in the country.
According to NBR estimate till 7pm on Thursday, a total of 9.73 lakh taxpayers filed tax returns for the year 2016-2017. Earlier, a total of 8.15 lakh had submitted tax returns for 2015-16 till the deadline.
NBR officials said as a large number of taxpayers submitted time petition, the total number of taxpayers may surpass 16 lakh this year.
On Thursday alone, a total of 1.12 lakh taxpayers submitted returns till 7pm.
A large number of taxpayers were seen waiting on several small queues for return submission at booths set up on the occasion of tax week observed from November 24 to 30 at different tax offices in Dhaka.
All the 649 circle offices under 31 income tax zones across the country remained open till 10pm so that all the potential taxpayers can submit their returns within the deadline.
Tax officials, however, received tax returns from taxpayers who were at the offices even after 10pm.
Banks also remained open till 8pm to facilitate taxpayers in depositing tax to the government exchequers.
Officials of the National Board of Revenue expect that a record number of individuals would file tax returns and time petition surpassing last year’s figure by several lakh due to various measures adopted in the budget for the current fiscal year.
Around 12 lakh individuals submitted tax returns in the last fiscal year of 2015-16.
Of which, 2.76 lakh filed time petition, according to the NBR data.
Taxpayers submit time petition being unable to complete procedures related to tax payment on time.
Many of the taxpayers do not also have any clear idea about the fixed deadline and they thought, like previous years, time would be extended in the last moments.
Time petitioners from this year will have to pay delay interest at the rate of 2 per cent per month on applicable tax.
They said that the government made returns submission mandatory for government employees having monthly basic salary above Tk 16,000 in the last year and various punitive measures for non-filing the tax returns.
Electronic taxpayers’ identification number holders also reached to 24.20 lakh mark by the noon on yesterday though a huge number of aspirant taxpayers and old TIN holders could not obtain e-TIN due to technical glitch in the e-TIN server of the NBR in last few days.
The finance minister last week expressed his hope that more than 20 lakh individuals would file tax returns in the current fiscal year.
NBR officials also echoed the view of the finance minister based on the response from taxpayers till last moment.
New aspirant taxpayers and old TIN holders, however, faced severe difficulties in obtaining e-TINs and replacing old one for filing tax returns as the NBR server was not responding for last few days.
Tax officials, however, received tax returns with applications for e-TINs from individuals assuring that taxmen would communicate with them once the server started responding.
They said that the e-TIN server became unresponsive due to huge pressure from taxpayers, mostly the government officials, who tried to obtain e-TINs at a time.
Earlier, NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman, while inaugurating the Tax Day rally in front of the NBR headquarters, said that the number of taxpayers (e-TIN holders) would reach 25 lakh by the end of the deadline.
He said that the revenue board would find out those who did not submit tax returns despite having taxable income and take legal action including imposing penalty against them.
He also said that NBR would ensure tax-friendly environment like tax fair and tax week every day in the year.
NBR in the morning arranged a colorful rally from in front of its headquarters on the occasion of the Tax Day.
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