Online tax payment system not in operation for months

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 12:55am on August 07, 2018

Online tax payment system of the National Board of Revenue has remained dormant for last few months as the private system operator responsible for providing technological support required to run the system stopped giving its services.
NBR officials said DataSoft Systems Bangladesh Ltd discontinued providing technological support several months ago as the revenue board did not renew the contract with the company.
Though the NBR cited fund crisis for not renewal of the contract, there was lack of initiatives to solve the crisis, they said.
The NBR introduced the online tax payment system, known as NBR-Sonali Bank e-payment service, in May, 2012 with the financial assistance of the International Finance Corporation to facilitate digital payment of income tax, value-added tax and customs duty.
The contract with DataSoft expired in 2015, but it continued providing technological support until 2017 following a verbal assurance from the NBR over renewal of the deal.
Income tax wing of the NBR manages the e-payment system.
NBR officials said that they could not manage fund required for renewal of the deal with DataSoft.
They said that NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan at a recent meeting instructed the officials concerned to resume the system so that it would remain operative during the income tax fair to be held in November.
The system, however, hardly attracted taxpayers to pay their taxes due to various limitations including absence of facility for payment of large amount and fund transfer directly from bank accounts.
Under the system, taxpayers are allowed to pay taxes using debit, credit and prepaid cards of 34 banks linked with the Q-cash network.
Though a significant number of taxpayers pay their income tax online during the annual tax fair, traders hardly pay VAT and
customs duty using the system. In the meantime, customs wing of the NBR in last year introduced online payment system under the Asycuda World System for importers and exporters amid failure of the existing system.
Under the Asycuda World System, traders can pay customs duty at any amount directly from bank accounts and the transaction is completed through real-time gross settlement system of Bangladesh Bank.
The system being operated in association with the BB and Sonali Bank has already introduced at Chittagong Customs House, Kamalapur Inland Container Depot, Dhaka Customs House and Benapole Customs House.