NBR to modernize income tax unit

The National Board of Revenue, to streamline the income tax regime, will implement a fascicle of initiatives in the upcoming financing year (2019-20), to increase the share of this direct tax to 50 percent of the total revenue by 2021. The government will announce the national budget for the fiscal 2019-20 tomorrow where the upcoming tax initiatives will be reflected, NBR sources said.

Several studies say that the country’s 95 percent tax-eligible people now remain out of the tax-net while the rest 5 percent pay income tax properly. The revenue authority will emphasize on expanding the tax-net in the new fiscal to increase revenue collection, NBR sources said.
According to sources, NBR has already chalked out a plan to bring one crore tax-eligible people under the net by the FY20.

Currently, some 40 lakh people are under the net while only 20 lakh submit tax returns regularly. A tax official with regard to this issue told Bangladesh Post that the number of submission of tax return is increasing gradually and expressed his hope that the number will jump twice or thrice in the next year.

NBR Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan had recently told the media that they would increase tax revenue through expanding the tax-net instead of pressurizing the taxpayers.  According to sources, the government in order to find potential taxpayers, conducted a survey on the country’s rural haat-bazars.

Currently, there are some nine lakh such haat-bazars across the country, where almost all tax-eligible traders remain out of the net. And, the government is optimistic in finding a big number of taxpayers from there. The NBR has also planned to employ 10 thousand university level students on an outsourcing basis to assist tax officials to conduct door-to-door survey to find taxpayers, sources said.

The NBR recently sent a report on its future action plan to finance ministry where it said there was a target of collecting at least 50 percent of total revenue from income tax segment, but it requires huge reforms in tax regime. However, NBR aligned with the country’s 7th Five-Year Plan has set a roadmap to increase the Tax-GDP ratio to 15.3 percent by 2019 which is now around 10 percent.

According to the report, the NBR will formulate the Bengali version of the existing income tax law to make it understood for all. Apart from this, NBR will also continue tax incentives for the thrust business and commercial sectors to lure investment and create more employment.

Besides, as part of strengthening source-tax deduction management, will bring legal and infrastructural reforms and also introduce electronic source-tax deduction system. The exchequer in its action plan said, it will form a modern and technology-based tax information unit that will automatically collect required information having connected with all national servers.

This system will exponentially detect tax dodging and help find new taxpayers, tax officials said. Besides, NBR will also form an international-standard tax administration structure to intercept tax evasion and take effective steps to bring back laundered money from abroad.

The revenue authority, in a bid to strengthen the collection of tax information, will also form third party information system, and enhance the professional skill of its officials. In addition, NBR has also a plan to work for easing of the country’s business environment, easily clarifying the existing rules and regulations of tax law, and taking of environmental issues into serious consideration, sources said.