It is imperative that NBR works towards increasing the efficiency of its services
Bangladesh has, for the longest time, struggled to widen its tax base, with corruption and bureaucratic red tape standing in the way of allowing people to fulfill this fundamental duty as citizens of this nation.
This has widespread impact -- from significantly reduced tax revenue collection to disincentivizing foreign investment -- and hurts Bangladesh’s chances of developing into a middle-income nation.
The filing of taxes, despite being one of the most essential duties of every citizen and a crucial source of revenue for the government, has remained a complex procedure of which many continue to remain ignorant, discouraging millions of people from being incorporated into the tax base every year.
In addition, promises of digitization have remained unsatisfactory thus far, with the official National Board of Revenue website and app found to be ineffective, incomplete, and insecure, doing little to boost tax revenue and leading NBR to put online services on hold.
In a year when online services have allowed people to remain safe within the confines of their own homes and economic growth has taken a significant hit, such incompetence is difficult to fathom, especially when one considers our collective push towards a Digital Bangladesh.
With a revenue collection target of Tk3,30,000 crore -- almost 10% higher than last year -- it is imperative that NBR works towards increasing the efficiency of its services and the effectiveness of its digital platforms in order to provide a hassle-free experience to tax-payers, as it has promised to do next year.
This is crucial towards bringing more people into the tax net, generating robust tax revenue collection, and promoting a culture of transparency which improves Bangladesh’s standing as a nation to invest in.
Sustainable economic growth cannot be achieved unless and until citizens and their hard-earned money are treated with the respect they deserve.