The Financial Express

NBR mulls lottery for VAT payers

Bid to entice consumers to collect electronic bills from shops

DOULOT AKTER MALA | Published: January 28, 2020 09:54:37 | Updated: January 30, 2020 10:38:15

— FE file photo — FE file photo

The National Board of Revenue, or NBR, has decided to honour the consumers considering the uses of invoices generated by electronic fiscal device.

The VAT online project will award consumers by conducting a lottery among them so that they can be encouraged to collect electronic bills from shops.

The revenue board will issue a circular after finalising the draft policy for the purpose, officials said.

A senior NBR official said they have set the February 16 as a tentative deadline for providing the device to some 100 shops on a pilot-basis in the first phase.

Consumers, who will shop in an outlet with such a device, will be eligible for participating in the lottery, he said.

According to the draft policy, the first prize of the lottery will be prize bonds worth Tk 50,000.

The second prize winner will get Tk 40,000, the third Tk 30,000, the fourth Tk 20,000, the fifth Tk 10,000 and the next 15 Tk 5,000 each.

However, customers will have to register their invoice numbers by scanning the QR code from their mobile phones or accessing the NBR website.

The tax authority would arrange the lottery programme every two months on the 15th day.

Winners of the lottery will be able to receive the cash prize from their respective VAT commissionarates by showing either the National Identification Number, NID, or verifying their mobile phone numbers.

The government has allocated a fund of Tk 30 million for the lottery purpose.

In a recent letter, project director Syed Mushfequr Rahman said with the fund, the lottery could be conducted until December 31, 2020 when the duration of the online VAT project ends.

He said there should be an allocation from the NBR to run the lottery programme on a regular basis.

Officials said the step to popularise the electronic device will not succeed unless the consumers ask for invoices from the shops.

But they hoped incentivising will encourage the consumers to obtain the electronic billing.

The policy requires a consumer to purchase products or services from the VAT-registered businesses to be eligible for partaking in the lottery.

The consumers will ask for the electronic invoices in the shops and check QR code or approval code of the NBR in the slip.

Consumers will have to register the number of invoices with the NBR's designated automated system to participate in the lottery programme.

After getting registered, the consumers will get an approval code from the NBR. The lottery will be conducted on the basis of that code or the mobile phone number.

The NBR will not consider unregistered EFD-generated invoices as participants of the lottery.

The tax collector made the electronic device mandatory for 11 types of businesses on August 2018. Later, on June 13, 2019, it increased the number of businesses to 25.

The board said it will supply the tools to businesses as those will have to conform to the NBR specification.

But the authority missed several deadlines for the supply.

Currently, the shops are issuing manual invoices since the introduction of electronic cash register proved unsuccessful.


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