NBR to collaborate with attorney general's office for speedy disposal of tax evasion cases
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to bolster monitoring at the district-level and Dhaka’s commissionerate offices to speed up collection of individual income taxes and VAT during Covid-19.
Moreover, these inspections are going to be carried out by the NBR chairman and members of the revenue board.
Additionally, NBR officials will meet with the attorney general and his colleagues every three months to speed up the disposal of income tax, VAT and customs cases in the High Court.
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The decisions were taken at a recent meeting of the Internal Resources Division (IRD) of the Ministry of Finance.
The government has fixed Tk389,000 crore as the revenue target for the 2021-22 fiscal year, of which Tk104,952 crore is expected to be collected from income tax alone.
But according to NBR’s latest data, out of 5.6 million taxpayers who registered in the last fiscal year, 56.6% did not file tax returns.
AB Mirza Azizul Islam, economist and financial adviser to a caretaker government, said the initiative of the the chairman and members of the NBR monitoring operations at the district-level is good move.
“It is well known that many are evading taxes and VAT. If we want to stop this, we have to increase monitoring. But just making a good decision is not enough, it needs proper implementation,” he added.
He further said revenue collection has been good during the Covid-19 period.
“However, Bangladesh has one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world, this must increase,” he said.
It would be good for the economy if the deficit in the budget could be kept below 6.3% through this initiative, he also said, adding that in the current situation, both the expenditure and revenue of the government will have to be increased.
Regarding the pending cases, he said the government should go for alternative to dispute resolution (ADR) to collect the tax revenues it is owed.
At the meeting, NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem also instructed the authorities to play the proper role in collecting income taxes as per the target by preventing fraud, according to sources present at the meeting.
Apart from this, he also directed the agency to further strengthen the activities of this sector by discussing income tax policy issues with various trade bodies and chambers.