The National Board of Revenue is set to launch installation of electronic fiscal devices at shops and service providing firms on pilot basis on August 25 to monitor sales of goods and services to check evasion of VAT paid by customers.
The revenue board fixed the date to start piloting after missing several deadlines due to lack of preparation followed by the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Initially, the EFDs will be installed at 100 shops in Dhaka and Chattogram while full-fledged installation of the devices will begin across the country after evaluating the outcome of the pilot programme, officials said.
The government also decided to provide the devices to shops and businesses free of cost considering the adverse impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy and losses incurred by traders due to the shutdown and slowdown of economic activities during the outbreak, they said.
The NBR’s VAT Online Project had been taking several initiatives to install the EFDs at stores since early this year.
Earlier in August 2018, the NBR made installation of EFDs or sales data controller or point of sales software mandatory for 24 types of shops and service providers, scrapping the use of traditional electronic cash register machines.
The NBR took the step following allegations of VAT evasion through hiding sales data in absence of an effective online sales data monitoring system and taking advantage of manual record keeping.
Shops which installed the ECR also hardly used the device in sales record keeping and there was no system in place for online monitoring of transactions by VAT officials.
These shops included hotels, restaurants and fast food shops, sweetmeat shops, jewellery shops, furniture shops, beauty parlours, electric and electrical household items, shopping centres, departmental stores, general stores or super shops, large and medium-scale firms, mechanised laundries, cinemas and security services.
The EFD or SDC or POS will be connected to the NBR’s electronic fiscal device management system so that the VAT offices can track the transactions online to ensure VAT collection from the sectors.
The VAT offices will get real-time sales data once implementation of the system is complete.
Officials said that the VAT Online Project responsible for implementing the EFDMS would install 10,000 EFDs across the country in the first phase and would then go for a second phase.
The NBR has already approved purchase of 1 lakh EFDs at a cost of Tk 317 crore from a consortium of China-based SZZT Electronics and local Synesis IT.
The NBR will import 1 lakh more devices on successful installation of 1 lakh devices across the country.
The officials said that the VOP would also hold lotteries with cash prizes for customers four times a year to encourage them to get EFD-generated receipts for purchase of goods and services.
All receipts with QR codes will be recorded on the EFDMS server.
They said that the NBR initially planned to offer the EFDs to shops at the purchase price of around Tk 22,000.
Now the situation is different as most businesses are suffering from capital shortage and may show reluctance to buy the device, they said.
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