The National Board of Revenue has realised Tk 6 crore from more than 150 foreigners while they were leaving the country in just two months after it set up income tax desks at four immigration check posts.
The tax authority on July 19 set up the check posts at the three international airports— Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong and Osmani International Airport in Sylhet—and at the Benapole Land Port to check tax evasion by foreigner nationals during their stay in the country, if they had earned here.
Everyday the taxmen are detecting tax evading foreigners at check posts and realising the due taxes from them who try to leave the country without paying the tax properly applicable on their income, a top official of the income tax wing of the NBR told New Age on Wednesday.
‘We consider the number of foreigners and amount of realised tax satisfactory as the initiative is a new one,’ he said.
The amount would be higher if the counters of the income tax authority are set up at visible places, he said, adding that taxmen cannot reach all foreign nationals at the check posts have been set up in a corner place allocated by the civil aviation authority.
The check posts should be established just beside the immigration desks so that taxmen can reach all the departing foreigners, he said.
Officials said that the revenue board had recently requested the civil aviation authority for allocating spaces at visible areas for the desks for easy access for all.
Till now, the lion’s share of realised tax came from the check post at HSIA as most of the tax evading foreigners of different countries were detected there.
Taxmen at the desks examine the authenticity of the documents of foreigners related to their tax payment status during their stay in the country and realise due taxes if they find any incidence of evasion.
Income tax officials give permission to the tax evading foreigners to leave the country once they pay the applicable tax instantly or their local employers take the responsibility of payment as source deducting authority.
According to the income tax law, a foreign national is required to open income tax file if he or she lives in the country for 90 days in a year.
Foreigners will also have to furnish income tax clearance certificate at the immigration check points for leaving the country.
But there are allegations that many of them leave Bangladesh without paying applicable tax on their income generated in the country by showing forged tax clearance certificates.