The Financial Express

May VAT receipts slump on Covid-19

SMEs lead return submission

DOULOT AKTER MALA | Published: May 18, 2020 09:26:12 | Updated: May 19, 2020 11:05:15

May VAT receipts slump on Covid-19

The collection of valued added tax or VAT against returns slipped by over 38 per cent in May, although the number of filing rose by 11,000 month on month.

Despite lockdown, the return submission has jumped by 34.81 per cent this month as taxmen doubled down their efforts, the National Board of Revenue or NBR data showed.

The tax authority received Tk 38.78 billion of VAT against the returns in May, down from Tk 63 billion last month.

Officials said the submission of VAT returns increased in May, thanks to small and medium businesses with low turnover.

They said the production of large businesses declined during the shutdowns, which have affected VAT collection.

The deadline for submission of VAT returns for the month of May expired on Friday (May 15).

To help businesses file returns, the NBR kept all its VAT offices open on the public holiday.

The enterprises submitted the VAT returns on the basis of their financial transactions in the month of April.

The board has received 42,600 VAT returns by May 15, up from 30,781 last month.

In February, the NBR received 69,500 VAT returns.

Talking to the FE, VAT implementation and IT member Mohammad Jamal Hossain said more than a quarter of the VAT returns have been submitted online this month.

He said the NBR could have received 65,000 returns if the situation were normal.

Of the VAT returns, some 143 large taxpayers under the Large Taxpayers Unit or LTU submitted VAT return, with receipts totalling Tk 19.96 billion.

And the contribution from two cigarette companies alone constitutes more than half of the total receipts or Tk 10.13 billion.

Mr Hossain said the VAT officials are serving like front-line workers in this COVID-19 situation to collect revenue for the public exchequer.

"We are satisfied with the VAT return submission trend in this situation," he said.

He said the NBR would receive some more VAT returns by end of this month and the collection is expected to increase further.

Those who have failed to submit VAT returns may have to pay penalty or comply with some conditions to enjoy the waiver of late fees, he said.

As per the Cabinet's recent decision, the NBR got the authority to relax its existing VAT and income tax laws to waive the penalty or extend any deadline.

According to the VAT law, a penalty of Tk 10,000 and 2.0 per cent interest on the payable amount will be imposed on the businesses, who will fail to file monthly VAT returns.

Mr Hossain said the government has yet to issue gazette in this connection, but justice will be done for compliant businesses, who submitted the returns within the deadline.


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