Income taxpayers will now get cash refund of up to Tk 25,000 within seven days of making application seeking refund of excess income tax paid by them, according to a decision of National Board of Revenue.
The board on April 15 asked its field offices to provide undisputed income tax refund within seven-day deadline.
In a letter, signed by income tax policy member Kanon Kumar Roy, the board said that getting refund was a legal right of a taxpayer while there was a provision in the Income Tax Ordinance-1984 of paying interest to the taxpayer for delay in payment of the refund.
Field level income tax officials are found reluctant in providing refund money, particularly to small-scale taxpayers, which is completely unexpected, the letter said.
Refund is created when the total income tax paid by a taxpayer exceeds the total tax liability calculated at the end of the year.
Taxpayers pay income tax in advance or at source at the time of import or getting salary and other fees, and for many taxpayers, the tax liability become less than paid tax after a taxpayer claims tax rebate for investment.
Taxpayer can claim cash refund or can adjust the amount with their payable income tax in next year.
The existing process refunding is very complex and lengthy which leaves scope of harassment of taxpayers, eventually discouraging them to claim refund.
Tax officials in general are reluctant to give cash refund due to procedural complexities and negative attitude of the board high-ups towards giving refund.
In this context, the board decided to make the process easier following a recommendation of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority and prime minister’s SDG affairs principle coordinator Abul Kalam Azad.
Kanon, also coordinator on BIDA and SDG affairs at the board, on Saturday told New Age that they took the decision to remove the bad image of the board over not providing refund on time.
The decision will improve the image of the board while taxpayers will also be encouraged to pay the tax, he said, adding that it will also boost taxpayer’s confidence on the tax authorities.
The board in the letter said failure of refund within seven days after taxpayers application will be treated as violation of the instruction.
A tax official will also have to inform the board chairman in written if refunding cannot be possible within the deadline, it said.
Field offices will also have to send a monthly report by the 15th day of next month on refund with information of taxpayer’s name, taxpayer identification number, date of refund creation, date of application, date of giving refund and reasons in case of not giving refund to the board’s member (income tax policy).
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Tax