11.44 lakh taxpayers submit returns, well below govt hope

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:45, Dec 01,2016

 
 

A file photo shows taxpayers filling in tax returns forms at the income tax fair in Dhaka recently. A total of 11.44 lakh individuals submitted their income tax returns in the current fiscal year but the number is well below the government’s expectation though returns submission rose by 40.34 per cent year-on-year. — New Age photo

A total of 11.44 lakh individuals submitted their income tax returns in the current fiscal year but the number is well below the government’s expectation though returns submission rose by 40.34 per cent year-on-year.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, while inaugurating the Income Tax Week on November 24, expected that 18 lakh to 20 lakh individuals, out of around 25 lakh electronic taxpayer’s identification number holders, would file tax returns in the current fiscal year of 2016-2017 as the tax authorities succeeded in encouraging people to pay taxes.
The tax authorities also expressed hope of getting a high rise in the number of taxpayers in this fiscal year keeping various budgetary measures in mind.
But the NBR data released on Thursday showed a disappointing figure as only 11.44 lakh individuals filed tax returns within the deadline that ended on Wednesday despite efforts from the National Board of revenue to raise the number.
The number of tax returns finally may increase to 12.96 lakh in the year as there are another 1.52 lakh who submitted petitions seeking more time for filing tax returns, the data showed.
The number of returns submission, however, increased by 3.29 lakh compared with that of last fiscal year of 2015-2016 when some 8.15 lakh individuals had submitted tax returns while another 2.76 lakh had filed time petition.
Tax officials said that the tax authorities were very much satisfied with the increase within the deadline though the number of taxpayers remained below the expectation.
NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman in a press statement on Thursday congratulated the taxpayers for paying income tax and filing tax returns.
He said that the number of tax returns, e-TINs and tax collection surpassed the figures of last year that proved that the NBR became able to achieve trust of taxpayers.
According to the NBR data, the number of time petition declined by almost 82 per cent as taxpayers wanted to avoid delay interest at the rate of 2 per cent per month on applicable tax in case of filing time petition.
In the FY 2014-2015, around 8.34 lakh individuals had submitted tax returns.
The data also showed that more than 88 per cent of e-TIN holders neither filed tax returns nor time petition.
Till November 30, a total of 24.42 lakh people obtained e-TINs.
The revenue board, however, received Tk 3,335.21 crore in income tax with tax returns in this year, up by 207 per cent compared with that of the previous year when tax collection was Tk 1,084 crore.
Analysing the data, tax officials said that total number of taxpayers including time petitioners increased by 2.4 lakh or 18.72 per cent in the year compared with that of the previous year when the number of taxpayers including time petitioners were 10.92 lakh.
But the figure is much below the finance minister AMA Muhith’s expectation.
The income tax authorities also expected higher response from individuals following various budgetary measures including mandatory returns submission provision for the government employees having basic salary above Tk 16,000 and punitive measures for non-filing tax returns by people having taxable income.
In this context, the NBR will submit a situation paper containing comparisons among the tax returns data of three fiscal years including this fiscal year to the finance minister.
A senior NBR official said that the number of tax returns finally would increase further as the NBR would take punitive measures against the defaulters.
He said that the Controller General of Accounts would stop approving the salary for tax defaulting government employees from January.
Officials said that at least 1.35 lakh more government employees were supposed to file tax returns this year while a significant number of taxpayers from the private sector was supposed to do so. 

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