a year ago

The Year 2022 in review

Revenue collection grows 14pc

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Domestic revenue mobilisation posted more than 14-percent growth in the outgoing year 2022 amid inflation-fuelled economic slowdown and erosion of real income.

Despite disrupted supply chain for the Russia-Ukraine war, costly dollar and high commodity prices globally, the government's revenue-collection efforts paid off.

However, the revenue board faced challenges like dollar crisis, higher import margin, regulatory duty to restrict import of non-essential products, discouraging import of luxuries and tax reduction in essential goods like petroleum products, sugar and rice.

Yet the mechanics of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) brought the tax authority to a new height expediting revenue collection, better service delivery as well as compliances.

The taxman innovated electronic tax-deducted at source, online tax return submission system, and verification of proof of submission of tax return.

Talking to the FE, NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem expressed satisfaction on the innovations by the NBR and revenue collection growth in 2022.

"There is huge scope to work in the NBR and explore new avenues," he said.

The NBR innovations started showing results through faster revenue mobilisation and delivery of services.

Mr Muneem said tax revenue collection grew by over 14 per cent in 2022 despite challenges on economic front. "The year 2022 was more challenging for NBR than the Covid pandemic years."

Another success of the NBR is the placement of the draft of a new income tax law in the cabinet recently.

"The NBR has involved stakeholders to scrutinise the new income tax law and place a report this year."

The chairman, however, expressed frustrations over the draft customs law that has remained pending for the past four years.

Another success of the NBR, which runs under finance ministry, is the outsourcing of the EFD (electronic fiscal device) operation by a private company for smooth management.

In 2022, it bagged considerable revenue from import sources due to a hike in commodity prices in the international market.

Until June 2022, import revenue posted 37.68-per cent growth while other two wings, VAT and Income Tax, registered around 11-per cent growth.

The tax regime entered a new avenue in 2022 with the mandatory display of the proof of tax return submission at the time of availing major services.

People, irrespective of having taxable income, now require submitting PSR (proof of submission of tax return) to avail as many as 38 types of services.

A large number of people are expected to come under tax net by 31 December 2022, thanks to a fiscal measure that took effect through the 2022-23 fiscal budget.

However, people on low incomes requested revising the measure as it restricted opening and continuation of bank accounts above Tk 1.0 million with PSR.

Relatives of migrant workers, homemakers, senior citizens, not having taxable income, would face hassle to submit tax returns.

Shahana Khatun's son has been working in Malaysia for the past three years. She used to run her family expenditure with the money her son remits from there.

Last month, Ms Shahana could not withdraw the money from her account as bank officials sought a proof of tax return submission.

The middle-aged woman, who lives in a small village of Chandpur, found it difficult to submit tax returns.

"I have neither computer literacy nor knowledge about tax law to submit tax returns," she said.

A tax consultant claimed Tk 2,000 from the panicked woman to help her out.

She sought a simpler process for the people having below taxable income.

A taxman, however, said the poor tax base and non-compliance by a large number of TIN (taxpayer identification number) holders to submit returns compelled the government to devise this measure.

"The gap between the number of registered taxpayers and return submitters is widening every year," he added.

Currently, an estimated 2.4 million out of more than 8.0-million TIN-holders submit returns.

Experts said economic slowdown hardly left any impact on internal revenue mobilisation in 2022 as the fiscal measure focused on advance tax collection from both individual and corporate taxpayers.

Revenue collection from source taxes marked a quantum jump in the year from import of products following a commodity price hike in the global market.

However, there is no data available on the volume of source taxes collected in the 2022 calendar year.

Taxmen estimated that the NBR received more than 64 per cent of the revenue as advance tax.

However, the government has also offered tax break to keep prices of essentials stable in the local market.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal, the NBR collected Tk 671.24 billion in tax revenue achieving 15.68-per cent growth over the same period last year.

The VAT wing registered 16.37-per cent growth, income tax 14 per cent and customs 17 per cent.

In FY2022 (July-June), the government collected revenue worth Tk 3.37 trillion.

Of the amount, the NBR collected 2.94 trillion while non-NBR sources contributed to Tk 67.04 billion and non-tax revenue Tk 362.45 billion.

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