Bangladesh gearing up for new era of taxation

The government has chalked out a series of programmes to enter a new era of taxation from 2020-21 FY in the run-up to achieving Vision 2041 and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.


“We must gear up revenue mobilisation and streamline the financial sector of the country,” a senior official at the Finance Ministry said.


To this effect, he said, the government has no other choice but to set up a strong, functional and transparent Income Tax Department.


Online Tax, Tax Return submission


The government has already taken an initiative to modernise Bangladesh Integrated Tax or BiTAX system of the tax department involving digital tax payment as well as online tax returns submission facilities.


To popularise online tax payment and online tax return submission, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has introduced a tax rebate of Tk 2,000 to all taxpayers who will file their income tax returns online for the first time.


“I hope this will highly encourage the taxpayers to submit their income tax returns online, which will in turn accelerate the process of digital transformation of the Income Tax Department,” he said in his budget speech.


Tax Department to get Access to Govt Database


According to budget documents, plans have been undertaken to give the tax department access to the database of different government, autonomous and private organisations through system integration and system interoperability.


“Special priority will be attached to issues related to virtual economy, international taxation and auditing,” it added.


Establishing Tax Academy


The Finance Ministry official mentioned that the government is also planning to increase the number of taxpayers by making the ongoing survey programme more intensive and technology-supported.


“Measures have also been taken to establish a tax academy per excellence in the country to enhance professional skills of taxmen,” he said.


He said formulation of a new business development friendly and modern Income Tax Act is also underway.


“Programmes have also been taken to make people compliant to tax matters.”


Policy to Reward Tax Payers


The budget document stated that a policy will be formulated to recognise and reward the tax officers who will demonstrate extraordinary professional feats, including identification of new taxpayers and mobilisation of revenue.


The Finance Ministry official said legal changes arising out of the new amendments and implementation of these amendments will enhance the capacity of the tax department to discharge the responsibility vested on it.


As a result, he said, the pace of revenue mobilisation will be accelerated, and this will play a positive and effective role in achieving the overall development goals.


Revenue Collection Target


The total revenue collection for the proposed budget for 2020-21 fiscal is estimated to be Tk 378,000 crore where the NBR will contribute Tk 3,30,000 crore.


The revenue from non-NBR sources was estimated at Tk 15,000 crore, while non-tax revenue at Tk 33,000 crore.


Of the grand amount for the NBR, Tk 103,945 crore will come from income, profit and capital tax, while Tk 125,162 crore will be contributed by VAT, supplementary tax will provide Tk 57,815 crore, Tk 37,807 crore will come from import duty, Tk 55 crore from export duty, Tk 3,686 crore from the excise duty and Tk 1,530 crore as other taxes.


Source: United News of Bangladesh