Businesses, experts and field level value-added tax officials have requested National Board of Revenue for issuing a guideline or user manual on filling in the new VAT returns form to remove confusion of traders and officials.
They also sought a clarification on some points of the form saying that there were some inconsistencies and ambiguities in the form which might create confusion among traders while filling in the form and among VAT officials during processing the returns.
Officials said that field level VAT offices, representatives of trade bodies formally and informally had already informed NBR about the inconsistencies with request of immediate clarification on the issues.
Traders will file VAT returns after mid-August on their transactions and VAT payment in the month of July.
Traders get up to 45 days for payment of VAT and filing VAT returns.
VAT wing of NBR on June 18 issued a statutory regulatory order introducing online compatible VAT returns form and scrapping the old VAT returns form.
A senior NBR official said that there were two-page instructions attached to the old VAT returns though it was very simple.
But the new form lacked such instructions though it was a comprehensive and detailed one, he said.
‘So, it is urgent to issue a clarification with user guidelines to avoid confusion among stakeholders, mainly traders,’ he noted.
It was also needed to make taxpayers aware about the changes in the VAT returns form, known as Mushok 19, he added.
A field-level VAT commissionerate in a letter to NBR said that though returns submission in the new format had become mandatory for traders, both VAT officials and VATpayers were not properly informed and given trainings on the new format.
Another VAT commissionerate said that the board did not provide any clear instructions on the new form.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC Bangladesh office in an analysis also found some limitations and inconsistencies in the form and requested the NBR for issuing clarifications on the issues.
Officials said that the new form did not have any space for providing address of the business entity.
It is also not clear whether the supply price of goods with standard VAT rate would be included in VAT or not.
As per VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012, the supply price of goods will be VAT-included while the price will be VAT-excluded as per VAT Act-1992.
So, the issues should be clarified, they said.
The form has also some ambiguities as regards the issue of increasing adjustment and decreasing adjustment related to value or quantity which needs to be cleared.
It also doesn’t have any column for providing the economic code number of supplementary duty and penalty and space for mentioning the amount deposited through treasury challan.
Officials said that it was a standard practice that returns were primarily scrutinised after being received from traders. But the form doesn’t have any specific place to put comment on the scrutiny.
They said that the form also did not clear some issues including who would be the receiver of returns, necessity of using seal and signature of returns receivers.
NBR, however, was considering issuing guidelines clarifying the inconsistencies as soon as possible, they said.