The National Board of Revenue has formed a joint committee to prepare a long-term institutional framework for identifying and solving the problem of a long-standing mismatch in revenue collection data between the tax authorities and the office of the Controller General of Accounts.
The NBR has recently formed the committee headed by Md Abdur Rouf, director general of the research and statistics division of the NBR, to prepare the framework.
The committee consists of representatives from NBR, CGA, Internal Resources Division and Finance Division of the finance ministry, Bangladesh Bank and Sonali Bank.
The NBR has been trying to resolve the mismatch over the last few years as the difference between their calculated revenue collection and actual receipts of CGA has been widening every year.
The gap in revenue figures in the two offices reached record high at Tk 13,493 crore in last fiscal year of 2016-2017, increasing from Tk 7,373 crore in FY 2015-2016.
In FY11, the gap was only Tk 2,923 crore, which swelled to Tk 12,645 crore in FY15.
Officials said the committee would try to find out the key reasons for the difference in revenue collection data between the two government offices.
The committee will soon sit to discuss the issue, they said.
It will hold meeting every month and place recommendations before the NBR with the aim of removing the gap and it will monitor the progress in implementation of the recommendations, they added.
A senior NBR official said that such large gap in revenue figure created fiscal indiscipline and the government was forced to change its budget propositions related to income and expenditure.
He said that the issue was discussed in a recent meeting presided over by NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.
The NBR chairman also instructed all field level offices — income tax, customs and VAT — to prepare provisional revenue figure for the current fiscal year 2017-2018 by June 27 to June 28 instead of waiting for June 30.
He also asked the offices to finalise the actual receipts data after reconciliation with the CGA.
On several occasions, the NBR found various reasons for the mismatch in tax collection data.
Sometimes tax officials report inflated data to take credit of achieving revenue collection target as there is huge pressure from the NBR to meet the target, the NBR said.
The revenue board also cited differences in calculation methods and lack of coordination among tax offices as reasons for the gap.
Sometimes field offices adjust the taxes deducted by government offices as source tax particularly in May or June in their accounts but the amount does not reflect in the integrated budget and accounting system of the CGA on time as the taxes are deposited after June, it said.
The NBR official said that income tax field offices also sometimes included an amount just after getting the pay order from the taxpayer and later submitted the documents regarding the amount to the CGA.
The CGA recognises any tax collection after getting the treasury challan against the pay order, he said.
Sometimes taxpayers deposit taxes against account code of a field office though the amount is supposed to be deposited at another office and in such a case, both the offices show the amount in their accounts, he added.
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