The revenue board has extended the deadline for obtaining specialised VAT software by the large companies until December 31, 2019.
The last date for using the mandatory VAT software by the businesses having annual turnover over Tk 50 million already expired on September 1, 2019.
The VAT wing of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) recently issued a general order (GO) in this regard.
In another GO on June 30 last, the board imposed the mandatory use of its prescribed software for the large category of businesses.
It has asked the businesses to maintain the records of sales and other transactions by using the VAT software.
The VAT officials said the deadline has been extended following a demand from the businesses, including multinational companies, and also a recommendation by a high-powered committee of the NBR.
The companies are yet to get prepared to procure and install the software from the companies designated by the NBR.
The VAT officials will take punitive action in case of failure in installing the software within the given timeframe, officials said.
The VAT wing has enlisted 17 firms so far for supplying the software as per the NBR-prescribed features.
The businesses as well as the service providing entities will procure the software for record keeping and payment of VAT.
The software firms include UY Systems Ltd, Ennovia Technologies Ltd, Dhurpadi Techno Consortium Ltd, Symphony Softtech Ltd, Unisoft Systems Ltd, Mediasoft Data Systems Ltd, Best Business Bond Ltd, CSL Software Resources Ltd, Allied Information Technology Ltd, Jubosoft Information Systems Pvt Ltd, Divine IT Ltd, Subra Systems Ltd, Techno Haven Ltd, Logic Software Ltd, Webns Technology Ltd, Southtech Ltd and Cursor Ltd.
In a recent press briefing, NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said a total of 25 companies, including those 17, have so far expressed their willingness to supply the record keeping software.
He said the NBR will welcome more eligible companies for the task but unfortunately many are not coming despite having their required capacities.
Businesses will have to procure the software from the NBR selected firms. They will have to preserve books of accounts and VAT-related documents using the software.
They will have to provide the records as per requirement of the VAT officials.
Officials said some of the businesses, who have already installed such software, will have to update those as per NBR's specifications.
However, the businesses will have to obtain approval of the VAT commissioner for updating their software.
They said most of the MNCs and local big companies usually use their own customised software for keeping transaction records.
Requests came mainly from those companies as they need time to update their existing software as per requirement of NBR, he said.
The software must have facilities for automated report generation and printing of VAT returns and other documents related to purchase, sales and challans.
Accessing the software, VAT officials will audit the transaction records of the large companies to examine proper depository of VAT.
A complete security system to check hacking and any types of tampering must be available in the software.
Along with automated reports, the businesses will have to keep the hardcopy of documents for five years.
Officials said the NBR has revised the GO for large companies' software procurement twice.
The board issued order first on September 11, 2018 asking the large companies to procure and use VAT software by January 1, 2019.
Later, the deadline was extended to September 1, 2019.