The National Board of Revenue on Wednesday assured that the government in the national budget for the fiscal year of 2018-2019 had not imposed any value-added tax or income tax on remittance the non-resident Bangladeshis send home.
The NBR gave the assurance following a rumour in the social media over imposition of VAT on remittance in the budget for FY19.
Amid expatriates’ concern over the VAT issue, New Age received phone calls from Bangladeshi expatriates in Italy, mentioning that they came to know that the government imposed 30 per cent income tax on remittance they would send to Bangladesh.
The fake information became viral on Facebook and other social platforms, creating panic and anger among the overseas workers and their family members in Bangladesh.
On June 7, finance minister AMA Muhith, speaking about the tax rates for the taxpayers other than companies in the chapter eight of the budget speech of FY19, mentioned that the income tax on non-resident would remain unchanged at 30 per cent, creating confusion among the expatriates.
The Bangla text of the Finance Bill-2018, however, mentioned that the income tax rate on the income of the non-resident individuals excluding the non-resident Bangladeshis would be 30 per cent.
Asked, NBR first secretary (income tax unit) Sabbir Ahmed told New Age on Wednesday, ‘The government has not imposed any income tax on the NRBs’ remittance.’
On the VAT issue, an NBR press statement issued by its senior information officer Sayed A Momen on Wednesday stated that the information [that went viral on Facebook] was fake and termed it rumour.
In the statement, the NBR said that it [spreading the rumour over VAT and income tax] might be a conspiracy hatched by vested quarters so that the NRBs became encouraged to send their money to the country through hundi instead of the legal channel.
Tax officials said people involved with the hundi business might be spreading the rumour.
They said such rumour would discourage the overseas workers to send remittance through the formal banking channel ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
A number of overseas workers, especially from the Gulf countries, from Tuesday night started making queries on the issue.
‘Hard-earned money sent by the honourable expatriates is considered as “service export” as per VAT law-1991, section 3, subsection 2(Ka),’ the NBR said.
This export activity is out of purview of VAT, it said.
There is no VAT on remittance irrespective of its amount or ceiling, it added.
‘Expatriates can send any amount of foreign currencies or remittance through the legal banking channel,’ the NBR said.
Remittance or foreign currencies will not be able to contribute to the national economy if it is sent through illegal channel or hundi, it said.
The NBR requested people not to send foreign currencies or remittance through hundi.
‘The NBR is in a cautious position to check hundi or money laundering,’ the press statement said.
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