Banks, NBFIs conceal taxpayers’ bank account info, NBR tells BB

Jasim Uddin | Published: 00:00, Dec 18,2018

 
 

A file photo shows clients receiving services from officials at a branch of a commercial bank in Dhaka. National Board of Revenue has accused banks and non-bank financial institutions of concealing information of taxpayers’ accounts and transactions to tax authorities. — New Age photo

National Board of Revenue has accused banks and non-bank financial institutions of concealing information of taxpayers’ accounts and transactions to tax authorities.
The revenue board in a recent letter to Bangladesh Bank governor highlighted various means through which financial institutions were concealing information of taxpayers’ accounts.
In the letter issued on December 10, NBR member (income tax policy) Kanon Kumar Roy requested BB governor Fazle Kabir to issue an instruction so that the banks and NBFIs provide accurate information on time as per the requirement of tax offices.
‘It is a matter of grave concern with which NBR is observing that some banks, leasing companies and other financial institutions are providing wrong information about the taxpayers’ bank accounts and financial transactions,’ the letter said.
The institutions are providing ‘nil report’ about a taxpayer although he or she maintains accounts with the institutions, it said.
The institutions also provide partial information of accounts or refrain from providing information of all accounts of a taxpayer he or she maintains with the institutions.
In many cases, financial institutions don’t provide the required information on time which puts negative impact on revenue collection, the letter said.
‘There are no scopes of providing flawed or incomplete information about a taxpayer as all banks, leasing companies and other financial institutions now preserve updated information related to accounts and transactions through electronic means,’ the letter argued.
The letter said that NBR was determined to prevent such irregularities and protect the government’s revenue.
Observing the irregularities, NBR, through Finance Act-2018, also incorporated a provision in the Income Tax Ordinance-1984 making the person, responsible for the irregularities, guilty, according to the letter.
A person is guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine or with both if he is in possession of any information in relation to an assessee and after being required to furnish the information to an income tax authority under the ordinance—conceals the information or deliberately furnishes inaccurate information, the provision said.
NBR officials said that the revenue board had received allegations from field offices that sometimes different bank and NBFIs in connivance with the taxpayers gave wrong information to NBR to misguide the tax authorities in audit and investigation activities about a taxpayer—individual or company.
Concealing information or providing inaccurate information hamper the tax authorities’ activities related to assessment of proper income of a taxpayer and calculation of applicable tax resulting loss of the government’s revenue, they added.
Getting correct information about bank accounts and financial transactions was very important for assessing proper income of a taxpayer and calculating his or her applicable income tax, said an official.

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