National Board of Revenue will now claim customs duty dating back up to five years if it can detect duty evasion or finds any duty or charge unrealised within in the time, according to the Finance Bill-2018.
Businesses will also have to preserve business records of up to five years, it says.
Currently, the customs authorities of the revenue board can claim arrears dating back up to three years and businesses including importer and exporter also preserve their business records for the same period.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, in his budget documents placed before parliament on June 7, proposed to bring amendments to the two relevant provisions of the Customs Act-1969 through the finance bill.
Customs officials say that the proposal to amend the provision has been placed to make it aligned with other laws and regulations related to revenue collection.
Income tax and value-added tax authorities of NBR will now be able to claim taxes for previous five years, they note.
Both income tax and VAT laws do not allow issuing fresh demand notice for realising arrears exceeding five years.
As per the proposed amendment, if customs officials find that any duty or charge has not been mistakenly levied or has been short-levied or has
been erroneously refunded, they will serve a notice within five years of the relevant date to the person liable to pay the amount asking him or her to pay the amount.
Taxpayers must get the opportunity to explain before taking any steps to realise the amount.
Officials say that, in many cases, importer or exporter evade duty through providing false statement in export-import documents and declaration.
In some cases, customs officials also make mistakes in calculating the payable duty while preparing order sheet for clearance of goods, provisional assessment and giving refund.
But the customs authorities could not earlier carry out audit activities on three-year-old documents related to duty payment.
Even they could not claim the duty if detected after three years of such order, assessment and refund.
They think that now customs officials will be able to conduct audit on five-year-old documents and claim the duty within five years of such order, assessment and refund if the amendment is finally passed in the parliament by the end of June.
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