NBR moves to detect taxpayers from power cos’ database

Jasim Uddin | Published: 00:00, Oct 07,2019 | Updated: 23:52, Oct 06,2019


A file photo shows a man holding a prepaid card in front of a row of electricity meters in Dhaka. The National Board of Revenue has formed a high-powered committee to introduce an automated module to detect taxpayers and verify their taxpayers’ identification numbers at the time of paying electricity bills.— UNB photo

The National Board of Revenue has formed a high-powered committee to introduce an automated module to detect taxpayers and verify their taxpayers’ identification numbers at the time of paying electricity bills.

The automated taxpayers’ identification module will also be integrated with the database and online billing systems of electricity distribution companies.

Officials said that the revenue board had taken a project to implement the decision of integrating its online taxpayers’ identification number (e-TIN) system with the database of electricity distribution companies to verify the authenticity of consumers TINs.

The revenue board on October 3 formed the 10-memebr committee to implement the project, they said.

Tax officials will be able to extract consumers’ details from the power companies database so that they can detect potential taxpayers and get information related to flats and houses owned by the existing taxpayers using business intelligence software under the module, according to the scope of the project.

NBR member (tax information management and services) Kanon Kumar Roy will look after the project while income tax first secretary Khondaker Khurshid Kamal has been appointed as the project manager.

The NBR took the initiative to enforce the provision of mandatory TINs for electricity connections in the urban areas across the country.

The government in the budget for the current fiscal year (2019-2020) made TINs mandatory for getting and maintaining electricity connection by all types of people, including house owners and businesspeople, in city corporations, cantonment boards, and municipalities in district headquarters.

According to the income tax law, the state-owned electricity distribution companies would not provide electricity connections without TINs.

Previously, TIN was mandatory only for electricity connection for commercial purposes.

Under the project, information related to e-TIN of electricity connection receivers will be incorporated in the database of power distribution companies of the government and a module will also be introduced for verifying the e-TIN while payment of both pre-paid and post-paid electricity bills.

There will also be a separate module for both existing and new electricity connection holders in the e-TIN system of the revenue board.

Under the project, database of NBR and electricity providing companies will be integrated in a manner so that tax officials can have access to the database for extracting consumers’ details from the database of power companies.

Officials said that there would be no requirement of additional fund for the project as the NBR would manage the expenditure from the funds allocated for e-TIN system maintenance and ICT.

Synesis IT Ltd, the vendor of e-TIN System of the NBR, will develop the module, they said.

The committee will arrange views exchange meetings between the NBR and different power sector stakeholders including Power Division, power distribution companies to discuss the strategy for implementation of the project.

Under the plan of the NBR, consumers will submit a copy of TIN with their electricity bills to the state-owned electricity distribution companies including Dhaka Electric Supply Company, Dhaka Power Distribution Company, Rural Electrification Board, West Zone Power Distribution Company, and North West Power Distribution Company.

The system then automatically verifies the authenticity of the submitted TIN with the NBR’s e-TIN database.

Electricity bill collecting entities, including banks and online payment gateways like bkash, will also come under the system.

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