The National Board of Revenue is set again to miss the deadline to begin installation of electronic fiscal devices at 25 types of shops in January after it previously missed the December deadline.
Officials said that the VAT Online Project of the revenue board would fail to start the installation activities even in January as it could not complete the process of connecting the devices with the EFD management system (EFDMS) in time due to complexities in getting access to the Bangladesh Computer Council where the system was set up.
VAT authorities will be able to track online transactions and ensure VAT collection from the sectors with the help of the EFDMS.
The EFD installation may now start be launched from February as complexities in getting access to the BCC were resolved, they said.
The NBR initially planned to set up 100 EFDs in Dhaka and Chattogram on a pilot basis.
Earlier in November, finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal criticised the revenue board for the delay in installation of EFDs saying that the delay was affecting revenue collection.
The NBR had informed the ministry that the installation of EFDs would be completed by July, he said then.
In August 2018, the revenue board made the use of EFD or Point of Sales (POS) software mandatory for 14 types of shops and service providers, scrapping the traditional electronic cash register machines (ECR), from November 1 that year to ensure proper VAT collection from the sectors through ensuing accurate records of transactions and sales.
Later on June 13, 2019, the NBR made the use of the devices mandatory for 25 types of shops and service providers up to district level from that date.
The officials said that almost all of the eligible shops and service providers were evading payment of VAT collected from consumers in the absence of the EFDs as they had even stopped using the traditional ECRs for maintaining transaction records and collecting VAT.
Shopkeepers are taking advantage of the opportunity as the NBR could not supply the EFDs, they said, adding that the use of ECRs was no longer mandatory for them technically.
The VAT officials are also not forcing the shopkeepers to use the ECRs, they said.
They said that Chinese company SZZT, which won the award for importing and installation of the EFDs with the support of local firm Synesis IT, was unable to get access to the BCC for some days leading to the failure in installation of the devices as per plan.
The NBR will initially import two lakh EFDs and it had already issued the work order for purchasing one lakh EFDs at a cost of Tk 317 crore.
The first shipment of the devices has already arrived in the country.
A trader will have to pay around Tk 22,000 to purchase an EFD.
The shops and service providers that have been brought under the mandatory use of the EFDs or POS include residential hotels, restaurants, sweetmeat shops, furniture shops, clothing stores, electronic or electrical household items sales stores, super shops and jewellery shops.
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