In an effort to expand country's narrow tax base, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has moved to gather 'secondary data' of potential new taxpayers.
In a country of over 160 million (16 crore) population currently there are only 3.5 million (35 lakh) e-TIN holders.
In his budget speech, Finance Minister AMA Muhith expressed government's intention to increase the taxpayers' number to 10 million in five years.
Secondary data refers to the information of the individuals that are already kept in any organisations.
The NBR also for the first time has started to collect information of the potential taxpayers at the upazila level through secondary data gathering, otherwise known as internal survey, reports UNB.
"For example I have a file of 'X' company, in that file the company mentioned that it has 450 employees. I can ask for the names of the 450 employees and their TIN numbers. By this little move I can find out the eligible taxpayers' names and put them under the tax net, this is called internal survey," a senior NBR official explained.
According to the NBR sources, the NBR officials generally collect information of the potential taxpayers by door to door survey. By this the revenue collecting authority finds out new taxpayers.
"But at the beginning of the new fiscal, the NBR has decided to use secondary data to increase the number of the taxpayers," the NBR official said adding that it would be easier to find out new eligible taxpayers through this process.
In this connection, he said that at first the NBR is taking information of the trade licences that have issued from the city corporations and municipalities.
He also said that for the first time they are using the secondary data in the upazila level to gather information about the potential new taxpayers.
Besides, he mentioned that the NBR is taking information of foreigners from Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), vehicles owners from the BRTA, land buying and selling information from the sub-registry offices, power distribution offices and service oriented offices.
Information of the flat and house owners are also being taken from the National Housing Authority, the NBR official said.
All these efforts would help NBR identify the eligible taxpayers who are still staying out of tax net.
"We hope that by this we will be able to bring the affluent section of the society who is evading tax," he added.
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