The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to install its own internet-based software in all the commercial banks, aiming to check the growing cases of VAT evasion at source.
This software will initially be installed in 17 banks, including four public ones.
Later, all the banks will be brought under this software network, according to NBR's Large Taxpayers' Unit (LTU).
According to a recent report conducted by the LTU, the VAT collected by the banks is not being deposited in the national exchequer properly. The report also made a reference to a VAT evasion case by a particular bank.
The report says almost all the banks are evading VAT at source for lack of proper monitoring by the government's revenue collecting body.
Against 39 banking services, the report mentions, there are provisions for 4.50 percent VAT charges at source, but the banks are not charging the VAT at source using the information technology, depriving the government of huge revenues.
In this context, the LTU has launched the pilot programme to set up the software in four branches of state-run Janata Bank, including its principal branch of the bank.
Earlier, the NBR asked the banks to submit the documents over charging VAT at source and its deposition. The LTU, however, found that 15 banks out of 17 took service from the Thomson Reuters under the Information Technology Service.
Later, 11 banks submitted their documents relating to VAT at source, where one bank deposited only Tk 5.0 million in the national exchequer.
Sensing irregularities, the LTU decided to check information from all banks in this connection.
The banks under the LTU are Sonali, Agrani, Janata, Rupali, Uttara, Prime, Standard Chartered, National, Brack, Islami, AB, Dhaka Bank, Duch-Bangla, Premier, Bank Asia, HSBC and South East Bank.
According to sources at the LTU, they had tried to install an online-based software in all banks aimed at checking VAT at source, simplifying the process and bringing transparency in it. "At the initial stage, banks had showed reluctance, but now they look positive," said an official wishing anonymity.
A high official at the NBR termed the move a very good one saying that it will help the government get huge revenue.