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Simplify of VAT system for better SME business regime: Speakers

Speakers at a workshop on Saturday called for simplifying value-added tax (VAT) for the sake of a better business regime for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) arranged the virtual workshop on the “Finance Act 2020 and VAT & Supplementary Duty Act 2012”.

Addressing the function, DCCI President Shams Mahmud put emphasis on increasing the tax-GDP ratio and investment-friendly simplified revenue structure to reach the goal of becoming a developed nation.

“For that, we need to widen the tax net, online tax and VAT return submission system, simplification of return submission and hassle-free service,” he said.

The DCCI President requested to exempt VAT on lease rent for the registered industries that are in operation in the economic zones.

He suggested reducing the advance tax rate for the local SMEs who import raw materials.

Md Alamgir Hossain, Member (Tax Policy) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), said the government is trying to balance between the target of GDP growth and the challenge of Covid-19 situation. Compared to the neighbouring countries, the tax rate is not too high in the country but it can be more rationalised, he said.

He said if NBR feels that the reduction of particular tax may increase business activities, it will definitely be done.

He expressed his hope that the online VAT and tax return system will be completely implemented by the next year. In order to increase the tax net, the tax structure will be reformed soon, said Alamgir.

Masud Sadiq, Member (VAT Policy) of NBR said, “We need to simplify VAT system to ensure ease of doing business. It’s true that for the country’s development, an increased revenue target is a reality but at the same time we need to balance between the increased revenue target and rationalised tax regime, VAT structure.”

M Shafiqul Alam, Convenor of DCCI, requested easing the VAT return submission process and refund of advanced VAT system.

Some 100 members from DCCI and different business entities joined the workshop, said a press release.

Source: United News of Bangladesh