National Board of Revenue has decided to revive and bolster the currently dysfunctional online payment system of income tax during the upcoming countrywide income tax fair.
Taxpayers will be able to pay their income taxes during the week-long tax fair and afterwards using any types of credit and debit cards of any bank under the improved system, NBR officials said.
Under the previous e-payment system, taxpayers could pay their income tax only using the pre-paid card of Sonali Bank and Q-cash cards, they said.
Online payment system of NBR for income tax remained inactive for last few months due to technological problem as well as lack of initiative from the tax authorities.
Datasoft Systems Bangladesh Ltd, a private service provider, stopped providing technological support required running the platform since early this year as NBR did not renew the contract with the company.
NBR cited fund crisis for not renewal of the contract.
The revenue board introduced the system, known as NBR-Sonali Bank e-payment service, in May, 2012 with the financial assistance of International Finance Corporation.
Datasoft had been providing the technical support but the contract with the company expired in 2015.
The company continued to provide the service till 2017 on verbal assurance from NBR on renewal of the deal.
In this context, NBR at a meeting held on October 3 decided to resume the system at any cost so that taxpayers could take the service during the fair scheduled to be held in November 13-19 across the country, a senior NBR official said.
He said that the meeting also decided to enter into a short-term agreement with Datasoft to revive the system.
The agreement will soon be signed, he added.
Representatives of Datasoft and Q-cash Ltd said that taxpayers would be able to pay income tax using any types of cards such as credit and debit cards of any commercial banks under the new plan.
Under the previous system, taxpayers could pay the tax by using only the Q-card of Sonali Bank.
Datasoft will also train IT professionals of NBR so that they can take over the system after completion of the contract period.
Though a good number of income taxpayers paid taxes using the system during the tax fairs in last few years, the system in general hardly attracted taxpayers to pay their taxes in other time.
Traders did not receive the system to pay their VAT and customs duty online due to various limitations including absence of facility for payment of large amount and fund transfer directly from bank accounts.
In the meantime, customs wing of NBR in last year introduced e-payment of customs duty under the Asycuda World System for importers and exporters amid failure of the existing system.
Under the Asycuda World System, traders can pay customs duty at any amount directly from bank accounts and the transaction is completed through real-time gross settlement system of Bangladesh Bank.
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