The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has tightened the vehicle-hiring scope for taxmen from this fiscal, creating difficulties for field-level tax inspection.
From now on, tax, VAT and customs officials will need to obtain finance ministry's approval to hire a car for inspection, survey or any purpose to collect revenue.
In a recent order, the NBR said the officials will have to take initiatives to purchase TO&E (table of organogram and equipment) immediately.
However, field-level officials said getting the ministry's approval to purchase or hire a car is a lengthy process.
The officials are already conducting their inspection and field visit amid an acute shortage of vehicles and other logistics, officials said.
Such an order may impede their efforts to mobilise higher revenue in the new fiscal year (FY), 2020-21.
"Before purchasing vehicles, the tax officials need to obtain finance ministry's approval if they want to hire a car on a temporary basis," the order said.
If any tax office hires a vehicle without approval, it will be considered as a personal liability of the official concerned, it mentioned.
According to officials, it would not be possible to wait longer for the ministry's approval for a vehicle prior to carrying out any inspection.
In many cases, the taxmen have to move to catch the tax evaders hurriedly.
Officials said the normal official and revenue collection activity would be greatly hampered for such restrictions on the hiring of cars.
Discrimination exists among government officials on availing vehicles which should also be resolved, they asserted.
Every year, the ministry allocates a lump sum as rent to hire vehicles by income tax, customs and VAT officials.
In FY 2019-20, the customs and VAT wing received Tk 120 million and income tax wing Tk 90 million for the purpose.