Marginal taxpayers will get a tax refund of up to Tk 25,000 paid in excess of the payable amount from the taxmen within seven days after submission of their application.
In a recent order, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) sent the instructions to the taxmen in a bid to simplify the tax refund process for small taxpayers and reduce harassment.
The NBR sent the order to the tax offices across the country to expedite issuance of tax refund voucher or cheque to the taxpayers.
However, the refund claim of the taxpayers should be undisputed and refund application should follow the proper rules.
"As per income tax ordinance-1984, Chapter XV111, it is legal right of taxpayers to get refund," said the order.
In case of delay in issuing refund cheque, the taxpayers will be entitled to get an amount of interest from the taxmen as per section 151 of the ordinance, it added.
"It is unexpected that despite having such provision in the income tax ordinance, some field-level officials are not willing to provide a relatively-smaller amount of tax refund," the order said.
Giving refund in due time is necessary for attracting investment and encouraging the taxpayers, it added.
In case of failure in providing refund within the given timeframe, the NBR will consider it violation of its order, the order said.
Taxmen will have to clarify the reasons to the NBR chairman through written note within next seven days, the order added.
With the order, the NBR attached a prescribed format for the taxmen to keep records of tax refund and send it to the NBR within 10th of every month, it added.
Taxmen will have to keep records on names of taxpayers, TINs, date of refund accumulation, date of refund application, date of issuance of refund, cause of not giving refund within the given timeframe.
Officials said the order has been issued to resolve the complexities of cash refund to small taxpayers.
Currently, getting refund voucher from the taxmen is time-consuming along with alleged harassment.
Many of the taxpayers alleged that they never claimed tax refund from the tax authority, fearing 'unusual interrogation'.
Following a recommendation of the NBR committee, the taxmen decided to ease the process of tax refund and issue cheque containing the amount of refund.
Officials said marginal taxpayers owe only 2.0 per cent of the total tax refund while they are 98 per cent of the total taxpayers.
On the other hand, only 2.0 per cent of the taxpayers, who are comparatively large taxpayers, get their tax refund properly, they said.
Solaiman Parsee Faisal, a businessman in old Dhaka, said refund cheque should be sent automatically to the taxpayers' home or office address to make the process simple.
"The system of submitting refund application should be scrapped as many of the taxpayers avoid refund claim fearing interrogation of the taxmen," he said.
Marginal taxpayers should get refund on the basis of calculation of the taxmen, he added.
With the widened base of withholding tax, many of the taxpayers have to pay a substantial amount of at source tax than that of their payable taxes, he added.
Specially, all of the bank depositors, irrespective to housewives, senior citizens, have to pay 10-15 per cent tax at source on their profit gain which is refundable.
Currently, commercial banks need Bangladesh Bank's clearance to encash the taxpayer's refund voucher. Also, income tax commissioners, who issue the voucher, will have to send an advice note to the BB, requesting to allow tax refund.
The process takes time as BB verifies the authenticity of refund voucher, advice note and signature of taxpayers to allow tax refund against the voucher.
In this process, taxpayers have to face hassle in collecting voucher from the taxmen as some of the tax offices show their reluctance to send advice note to the central bank.
Also, the process of refund largely depends on BB's speedy disposal.
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