Businesses having annual turnover or sales worth Tk 5 crore or more will have to use specialised software specified by the National Board of Revenue from September 1 to maintain records of sales and other transactions involving value-added tax.
VAT wing of the NBR on June 30 issued a general order making the use of the software mandatory for businesses and service providing entities for the purpose of record keeping and payment of VAT.
Businesses will have to procure the software from the selected firms or update their own software as per the NBR-approved specifications.
Earlier, on September 11, 2018, the NBR made it mandatory for the businesses use of customised VAT processing software from January 1, 2019 but could not enforce the decision due to lack of preparations including selection of the eligible software firms.
In February this year, the revenue board selected 11 software firms for providing the customised software to businesses.
According to the NBR order, interested software developers will apply to the NBR for being enlisted as software providers and the board will settle the applications within 28 days of getting the applications.
Businesses will preserve books of accounts and VAT-related documents using the software and provide the VAT officials with data as per requirement of VAT offices.
Businesses which will use own software will have to apply to respective VAT commissioners for approval. An expert committee of the NBR will examine the software and the NBR member (VAT implementation and IT) will approve or reject the software based on the report of the committee.
The software should have systems of automated report generation and printing facility of VAT returns and other documents related to purchase, sales and challans.
Businesses will have to preserve the hardcopy of documents for five years and supply those to VAT officials as per requirement.
VAT officials must have access to the software for audit and other examinations.
The software must also have the complete security system to protect it from hacking and any types of tampering.
Businesses will be allowed to keep records manually if the software goes outdated due to technical flaws or legal changes but the manual records should be transferred to the system once it become ready to use.
Those which have already installed the NBR-approved software will have to update the software by July 31 in line with the changes brought in the VAT act and rules through the national budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020, the order said.
A senior NBR official on Sunday told New Age that the revenue board took the initiative (to introduce its prescribed software for large business entities) to ensure transparency and accuracy in accounts.
He said that more than 1.66 lakh businesses, including manufacturers, importers and traders, obtained business identification numbers (BIN), commonly known as VAT registration number, from the NBR’s online system.
Among the BIN holders, businesses having annual turnover or sales worth Tk 5 crore or above will have to use the software, he said.
According to the order, the NBR will take punitive actions against those who will fail to comply with the order.
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