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The Financial Express

Govt to provide automated services to taxpayers

| Updated: September 20, 2021 11:20:43


Govt to provide automated services to taxpayers

The government has taken several measures to provide seamless services to the taxpayers through automation and digitalisation of Income Tax, VAT and Customs Departments under the National Board Revenue (NBR), according to an official document, reports UNB. 

The government believes that internal sources will be the main field of revenue collection for uninterrupted economic progress amid global economic stagnation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

According to the document E-payment services have been initiated through establishment of necessary interfaces with the Bangladesh Bank for online payment of taxes.

Now, the taxpayers can pay their returns from home at their convenience through their own bank accounts without physical presence at the premises of Bangladesh Bank or the state-run Sonali Bank.

As in every year, the major portion of the total budget expenditure will be mobilised from internal resources that will be collected by the NBR.

The target of internal revenue is set based on budget size. There are mainly two sources of revenues: NBR revenue, non-NBR revenue.

Almost 85 per cent of the total revenues is collected by the NBR. Although the main purpose of the NBR is to collect revenue, various types of tax exemption, reduction in rate or tax benefits have been given with respect to income tax, VAT and customs duty for the sake of industrialisation, employment generation, increase of business scope, protection of domestic industries, attraction of foreign investment and establishment of a just and equitable society.

The document stated that In spite of the fact that tax-GDP ratio is comparatively low, the revenue income has sustained growth every year.

However, it said that the apprehension remains that the economy will not return to normalcy in the coming financial year.

The government has formulated our fiscal policy taking the COVID-19 pandemic, recession and instability of world trade and commerce into account.

“In consideration of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in business, in this budget the government put emphasis on protection of public health, employment creation and speeding up the pace of our economy along with revenue collection.”

Terming internal sources will be the main field of revenue collection for uninterrupted economic progress amid global economic stagnation, the document mentioned that Keeping the prevailing circumstances in mind, the government wants to bring the taxpayers under the tax net through reforms in tax systems, expansion of tax scope and motivating the taxpayers and all e-TIN holders to submit their annual tax returns voluntarily.

The Income Tax Departments have already taken steps for return submission of non-filer companies.

The NBR and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) have jointly introduced Document Verification System (DVS) to determine the authenticity of the audited statements of accounts submitted by the taxpayer companies.

This initiative will bring transparency in disclosed income of the companies.

An activity regarding system integration between National Board of Revenue and Bangladesh Road Transport Authority is going on with a view to exchange of information, pulling and storing of data and checking the authenticity of stored information.

This initiative will be helpful in the identification of new taxpayers and prevention of tax evasions.

E-TDS system has also been introduced for monitoring tax deduction and collection.

The government has taken all necessary measures so that the taxpayers can submit their annual income tax returns online from the running year. As a result, the number of new taxpayers will also be increased, said the document.

As per the document, after simplification of value added tax act and rules in accordance with international best practices for creating business-friendly environment, Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act, 2012 has been implemented since 01 July, 2019.

Automated online registration is a mentionable achievement of this Act, it said.

So far, more than two lac taxpayers have received 13 digits registration number online. To make the registration system more dynamic and reliable, activities are going on for establishing interfaces with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, Office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, National Identification Card authority, City Corporations and Commercial Banks.

The VAT Online Project is working for bringing transparency in VAT collection and establishing an ICT based VAT administration system.

This initiative has resulted submission of about 70 per cent online VAT return so far.

In order to ensure easy, transparent and hassle-free VAT collection, from August 2020, The NBR has started installing EFD (Electronic Fiscal Device)/ SDC (Sales Data Controller).

3,000 EFDs/ SDCs have been installed in business establishments in Dhaka city so far under this project.

To make this initiative 100 per cent effective, the consumers are being rewarded through lottery on EFDMS issued invoices every month.

A new Customs Act, 2021 is being formulated in accordance with international best practices followed in worldwide customs management.

The Customs Department has been using automated customs management system since long. The activities of customs department are being operated under the Web-based ASYCUDA World system interfacing with the computer system of the Bangladesh Bank, the Sonali Bank, the Navy and the Chattogram Port Authority.

It has facilitated E-LC management monitoring, prevention of money laundering, dangerous cargo monitoring and assessment of exported and imported goods and container management through manifest data sharing.

Different types of reform activities are going on to enhance the capability of the revenue administration, the document said.

All the training academies under the National Board of Revenue have been modernized where time befitting training activities are being organized regularly.

Expansion of revenue administration including the NBR is going on with a view to improving the quality of services and enlarging the scope of tax.

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