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NBR starts ‘tracking’ taxpayers’ money to ensure its proper use

Says the revenue board chief

| Updated: November 18, 2017 11:17:33

NBR starts ‘tracking’ taxpayers’ money to ensure its proper use

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has started 'tracking' the taxpayers' money to find out the process of its expenditure, said NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman on Thursday.

The board is communicating with different ministries to ensure transparent and proper use of the taxpayers' money, said Mr Rahman, also the senior secretary to Internal Resources Division.

He added that the taxpayers have been paying tax in a festive mood since the inception of the tax fair in 2010.

The NBR chairman said these while responding to the suggestions of the chiefs of different media houses at an opinion-exchange meeting.

The high-ups of the country's different print and electronic media attended the post-tax fair meeting at the city's officers' club.

Prime Minister's Information Affairs Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury attended the programme as the chief guest.

Mr Chowdhury said there might be differences in opinions in some areas while discharging professional duties by the journalists.

But both the NBR and the media have to work together for developing a tax culture in the country, he added.

Speaking at the programme, Editor of the Financial Express (FE) A H M Moazzem Hossain said the number of actual taxpayers is much higher than the NBR's disclosed figures.

"There are some deemed taxpayers, including the bank depositors and the savings instrument investors, who are paying tax at source to the public exchequer."

There is doubt over the NBR figures on the number of taxpayers, as many people are paying indirect tax in the form of Advance Income Tax (AIT). The bank depositors are paying AIT, but the NBR may not be interested to bring them under tax net, he also said.

"The investors of the savings certificates are paying tax, but they are not in the tax net."

The bank depositors need to produce the Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN), but the investors of the savings certificates are not required to produce the same.

"This is, I feel, theoretically wrong," he opined.

Many of the investors are purchasing the government's savings instruments anonymously, the FE editor noted.

He also proposed raising the ceiling of investment in the savings certificates, as many people, including senior citizens, depend on the earnings from these tools.

"Payment of tax is an obligation. But, it is also important to show how efficiently the resources are being spent."

Mr Moazzem Hossain also suggested gearing up efforts to plug in transfer mispricing and thwart capital flight through under and over invoicing.

The tax authority can evolve a system (in this regard) in cooperation with the Bangladesh Bank, he added.

Shykh Siraj, director and head of news of Channel I, said the area of the tax fair should be increased to accommodate more people and manage rush of the taxpayers.

Tasmima Hossain, acting editor of daily Ittefaq, said the tax authority should introduce a simplified tax payment system for the housewives.

She also urged the NBR not to take any regressive measures considering the investors of the savings instruments.

Editor of daily Bonik Barta Dewan Hanif Mahmud said the NBR should shift dependency from the tobacco sector for collecting revenue.

He also suggested expanding the VAT net, as only 20 companies pay major shares of VAT.

Motiur Rahman Chowdhury, editor of daily Manab Zamin, suggested holding tax camps in the rural areas to develop a tax culture.

NBR member, tax administration and human resource development, Abdur Razzaque said people have developed a positive attitude towards tax payment.

He said the tax authority has been motivating the taxpayers for payment of tax, but stern actions will be taken against those who are defaulters.

The NBR chairman handed over tax identity cards to the editors, chief executive officers (CEOs) and other high-ups of the media houses on the occasion.


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