The National Board of Revenue would force all taxpayer’s identification number holders who have taxable incomes to file income tax returns as only 22 lakh out of the 46 lakh TIN holders submitted returns this fiscal year, said NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Sunday.
Tax officials would contact each TIN holder through letters and phone calls to find out who have not filed returns despite having taxable incomes, he said at a press briefing at the NBR conference room.
The revenue board arranged the briefing on the occasion of National VAT Day to be observed across the country on December 10.
More than half of the TIN holders did not file their income tax returns in the current fiscal year 2019-2020.
Out of the total 46 lakh TIN holders, only 22 lakh filed their tax returns for the current fiscal year 2019-2020 within the deadline that ended on December 1, showed the provisional data of the revenue board.
The number of returns might increase by 50,000 when company taxpayers would file their tax returns, NBR chief said, adding that the number of returns was not satisfactory in anyway.
The number of returns is not increasing up to the expected level despite the various efforts put in place, he added.
‘We will force TIN holders with taxable incomes to file their tax returns,’ he said, adding that tax officials were instructed to take steps in this regard.
He also said that the NBR would go for strict enforcement of the VAT law to check VAT evasion amid slow progress in revenue mobilisation, particularly collection of VAT, so far in the current fiscal year.
VAT officials have been instructed to ensure compliance of the VAT law, he said, adding that allegations of harassment should not be raised once the VAT officials began enforcing the law.
The revenue board will also start installation of electronic fiscal devices at shops from this month and traders will have to pay Tk 17,000 for each for the devices, although the NBR initially planned to offer the EFD free of cost.
The NBR would be able to install the EFD at 50 per cent of the eligible shops by the current fiscal year, he said.
The NBR chief said that in the first two months of this fiscal year, some businesses had tried to take advantage of the VAT exemption ceiling by reporting an annual turnover of below Tk 50 lakh.
The VAT authorities had addressed the issues and businesses that made Tk 13,000 in daily sales were eligible to pay VAT, he said.
The number of VAT returns has also now increased to 1.06 lakh against 1.12 lakh business identification number (BIN) holders.
Revenue collection would rise from January following an expedition in the government’s development works as a significant amount of source tax would come from the sector, he said.
Replying to a question on a recent remark of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries president Sheikh Fazle Fahim where he criticised the finance minister and NBR chairman for failure to remove the hurdles being faced by the country’s businesspeople, Mosharraf termed the comment as unfortunate.
‘I don’t know why they are blaming the NBR as it has been giving lots of support to businesses, particularly import substitute ones, through budgetary measures,’ he said.
The NBR had imposed high duties on imported goods to support local entrepreneurs, he said, adding that no other country imposed duties at such high rates.
The rates of duty on capital machinery and raw materials were minimal while the readymade garment industry paid tax at the lowest rate, he said.
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