NBR mulls scrapping tax ID cards

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 12:29am on August 09, 2018


A file photo shows a taxpayer showing his income tax identity card in Dhaka. The National Board of Revenue may scrap issuing income tax identity cards finding no practical use for them. — New Age photo

The National Board of Revenue may scrap issuing income tax identity cards finding no practical use for them.
Officials said that the revenue board was considering not issuing the cards to regular taxpayers in the upcoming week-long countrywide income tax fair to be held in the first week of November.
The card, valid for one year, has no use for a taxpayer other than keeping it in a cardholder or preserving at home, they said, adding that it has become an ornamental stuff.
The NBR in last year’s income tax fair introduced the machine-generated smartcard for the first time to honour regular taxpayers, which drew huge enthusiasm among the taxpayers.
The cards—containing the taxpayer’s name, taxpayer’s identification number (TIN) and quick response (QR) code—could be obtained after filing income tax returns at the fair venues in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.
The revenue board also issued the cards after the fair from its field-level tax offices.
Though the taxpayers considered the card as recognition of their tax payments and a matter of pride, they raised questions about the usefulness of the card and demanded to give it a legal status so that they could use it as a tax payment certificate.
The NBR had also created a lot of hype about the card and even secured the copyright of the card as a creative innovation. The copyright office of the cultural affairs ministry on November 30, 2017 granted the NBR the exclusive rights for use and distribution of the card.
The NBR also officially handed over the card to prime minister Sheikh Hasina and other dignitaries.
Officials said that the NBR issued more than 1 lakh ID cards to taxpayers in the last financial year and spent crores of taka for the purpose. Some 91,250 income tax ID cards were distributed alone during the tax fair in Dhaka.
But no initiative was taken to institutionalise it as a proof of tax payment for getting various services, they said.
In this context, the NBR in a recent preparatory meeting on the upcoming national income tax fair discussed about scrapping the project, they said, adding that the decision would be finalised soon.
The revenue board, however, will continue to honour the highest taxpayers with tax cards, crests and certificates.