Mobile phone use may be costlier

Jasim Uddin | Published: 00:51, Jun 13,2019

 
 

The cost of mobile telephone use is likely to go up as the government plans to double the supplementary duty, SD in short, on mobile phone services in the fiscal year 2019-20.
The SD on mobile phone services may be increased up to 10 per cent in the new budget from the current 5 per cent, finance ministry officials said.
The tax may be raised under the Value-Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act-2012, they said.
Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is supposed to announce the proposed tax increase in the budget proposals to be placed before the parliament today (Thursday).
The government first imposed 3 per cent SD on voice, internet, SMS and other mobile phone in FY2016 following a proposal by the National Board of Revenue.
The rate was increased to 5 per cent in FY2017.
Currently, a total of 21.75 per cent taxes are applicable on mobile services, except mobile internet, including 15 per cent VAT, 5 per cent SD and 1 per cent surcharge.
The rate of VAT on mobile internet is 5 per cent.
Officials said that NBR’s revenue would significantly increase due to the upward revision of the taxes.
In another bid to boost its income, the government may reduce the existing area-wise special tax rates for legalising undisclosed money by buying buildings and apartments to give a boost to real estate sector.
The reduction in area-wise special taxes would attract more people having undisclosed money to invest in the construction or purchase of residential buildings and apartments, officials further said.
Currently, undisclosed money holders can legalise such money by investing in the construction or purchase of residential buildings and apartments by paying tax at different rates for different cities and areas in the country and according to the size of the buildings and apartments.
The highest such tax rate is Tk 7,000 per square metre for buildings and apartments in Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Motijheel and Dilkusha commercial areas of Dhaka if the plinth area of a building and apartment exceeds 200 square metres.
The lowest rate of this tax is Tk 700 per square metre for buildings and apartments outside of municipality areas if the plinth area of a building and apartment does not exceed 200 square metres.
The price slabs for all types of cigarettes and bidis may also be revised upward in the budget. The SD rates for the products, however, may remain unchanged.

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