Taxpayers’ number static as 22 lakh file returns

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Dec 03,2019

 
 

A file photo shows a member of Sea Rover Scout helping a taxpayer to find acknowledgement receipt of his income tax returns, which he submitted to NBR officials, at a tax fair in Dhaka recently. The number of income taxpayers has remained almost static in the country as only 22 lakh people filed their income tax returns by the December 1 deadline in the current fiscal year of 2019-2020. — New Age photo

The number of income taxpayers has remained almost static in the country as only 22 lakh people filed their income tax returns by the December 1 deadline in the current fiscal year of 2019-2020.

The number of income taxpayers finally stood at around 22 lakh in last fiscal year of 2018-2019, although 20.07 lakh people had submitted their tax returns by December 2, the deadline for tax returns submission in last year.

Officials of the National Board of Revenue expressed frustration over the progress as the number of taxpayers remained far below their expectation.

Tax officials expected that nearly 30 lakh people would file their income tax returns in the year as a result of efforts and policy measures taken by the tax authorities, they said.

The number of overall income tax returns may reach near 23 lakh by the end of the fiscal year as some taxpayers might be left out of the initial calculation while a section of company taxpayers will file their returns by December 15, the deadline for the companies, they said.

They said that only half of electronic taxpayers’ identification number (e-TIN) holders filed their tax returns in the year.

The number of e-TIN holders exceeded 46 lakh in the country, they added.

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in his budget speech for this fiscal year expressed hope that the number of income taxpayers would be more than one crore by the next few years.

Officials said that the revenue board would look into the gloomy progress to find out the reasons for the low rate of returns submission.

The NBR will also have to take stern action against any non-compliance by taxpayers, they said.

Field offices issued more than 6 lakh e-TINs in the year through conducting survey across the country but the new TIN holders also did not file their returns, they said.

It proves that many e-TIN holders did not file their returns despite having taxable income or having regulatory requirement of filing returns, they added.

This year around 18.50 lakh individuals filed their returns while another 3.59 lakh taxpayers sought time extension for filing returns.

In FY19, 16.92 lakh individual taxpayers filed their income tax returns within the deadline and some 3.15 lakh taxpayers sought time extension.

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