The Financial Express

E-commerce finally classed as separate business

| Updated: October 15, 2021 14:06:37

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After costly crises and commotion by those cheated comes a remedy as the government recognizes e-commerce as a separate business under supervision of the revenue authority.

Officials say the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has, finally, included e-commerce as a separate business to issue electronic taxpayer- identification number (e-TIN).

The e-commerce businesses, which started journey since 1999, were obtaining tax registration as Information Technology-Enabled Service (ITES) due to absence of a separate category on the e-TIN-obtaining website.

The tax authority addressed the issue after the problem had been raised by the association leaders earlier, said tax commissioner Md Mahmudur Rahman at a meeting with the e-commerce association leaders on Wednesday.

The tax officials were also facing difficulties in identifying e-commerce businesses in the absence of any specified category for them.

ITES businesses are tax-exempted as per income-tax law.

However, e-commerce businesses are not entitled to have tax exemption.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Rahman asked all e-commerce companies to submit their annual tax returns stating details of their financial transactions.

The tax zone-15, dedicated tax zone for supervising e-commerce businesses, has also directed the e-commerce businesses to obtain e-TIN in compliance with the existing law.

It held an opinion-exchange meeting with the e-commerce association of Bangladesh, chaired by Mr Rahman on the tax-zone premises.

Shomi Kaiser, president of the e-Cab, led the team of e-commerce entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the programme, Mr Rahman said, "The e-commerce businesses have flourished in this COVID-19 pandemic period but expectation of consumers and government revenue earning hardly reflect the growth."

He said the income-tax authority would extend all-out cooperation and give legal support to check irregularities by e-commerce companies.

As per tax law, members of business associations are required to obtain e-TIN on mandatory basis.

The tax commissioner requested the association leaders to include e-TIN as an eligibility criterion on mandatory basis for obtaining their membership.

E-commerce companies and companies having above Tk 10 million turnovers have to deduct tax at source at the time of payment for house rent, supply etc.

The e-cab president pointed out some problems in running e-commerce businesses in Bangladesh, including not having a specific category for obtaining trade licence.

She assured of bringing all e-commerce businesses under tax net.

E-cab finance secretary Md Abdul Huq Tanu, Awrangojeb Hossain, Jahangir Alam Shovon and Sydur Rahman Sayed attended the meeting.

Deputy Commissioner of taxes Mir Rezwanul Abed moderated the programme.

DCT (legal) Amit Kumar Das presented a keynote on tax-compliance requirements under the Income Tax Ordinance 1984.

Additional Commissioner Md Sirajul Karim, Shaon Chowdhury, joint commissioners Md Wahidullah Khan, Md Sayduzzaman Bhuiyan, DCT Sarder Md Abu Helal, Md Nasim Huq Palash and Iffat Jahan, among others, attended the meeting.

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