The VAT intelligence wing of the National Board of Revenue has sought from banks a list of private commercial firms with an average annual transaction or balance of Tk 100 crore or above to evaluate them for VAT payment evasion through special audits.
The VAT Audit, Intelligence and Investigation Directorate of the NBR on February 10 asked the commercial banks to provide on a priority basis the list containing details of the companies’ transaction information for the past six years.
The information is to include the company name, full contact address, email ID and phone number/s, business identification number (BIN), taxpayer’s identification number (TIN), RJSC registration number, import and export registration certificate number, type of business (proprietorship, partnership, private limited or public limited), and a brief description of the nature of business or service sector it was engaged in (trading, brokerage and intermediary).
The banks will have to provide the information on companies which had an average annual transaction or balance of Tk 100 crore or above between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2019.
The wing also requested the Bangladesh Bank to issue the necessary instructions to all the commercial banks so that they provided the list of companies meeting the criteria set and had accounts with them on a priority basis.
The directorate took the initiative under a special audit programme for the businesses concerned to find out which companies were evading payment of value-added tax.
It, however, kept manufacturing companies, commercial banks, insurance and leasing companies out of the purview of the special audit.
In a letter to the central bank deputy governor, Ahmed Jamal, VAT intelligence wing director general Syed Mushfequr Rahman said that it was pertinent to conduct detailed scrutiny on private commercial firms to ensure collection of the applicable VAT from the companies.
The directorate has taken a special programme to audit the transactions of the companies under the risk management scheme, he said.
Cooperation from the commercial banks is important in order to succeed in conducting the audit programme, he added.
The banks are bound to provide such information sought by the VAT wing under article 82 of the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012, said the NBR officials.
The VAT wing has the jurisdiction to take legal action in case of non-compliance with the request.
Wing officials said that the move was taken to bring under the purview of the VAT net those companies which were carrying out their business activities without obtaining VAT registration and paying VAT.
Although the wing did not possess any data on such companies, a large number of firms who were in operation might do so without having to pay VAT net in absence of proper monitoring and the mechanism to do that, they said.
Many traders, commission agents, proprietors and suppliers who are not engaged in export or import are suspected of running their businesses without BIN and of VAT and tax evasion.
Many private commercial companies who have registered for their BINs are also not filling VAT returns, they said.
So for the first time, the VAT intelligence wing is going to conduct the audit programme to get a clear picture of the sector, they added.
Only one-third of the companies which have registered for VAT payment file returns, the officials said.
According to the NBR data, the number of BIN holders now is around 1.30 lakh while around 40,000 of them file returns.
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