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TBS Report

05 December, 2021, 07:20 pm

Last modified: 05 December, 2021, 07:27 pm

Traders asked not to collect VAT separately during sales


The revenue board has asked traders not to collect value-added tax (VAT) separately during sales, rather add it to product prices.

"Customers become unhappy while paying for the products if the VAT is levied separately," revenue board Chairman Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem told a lottery draw on sales receipts generated by electronic fiscal devices in Dhaka Sunday.

The move aims at encouraging people to ask salespeople for machine-generated shopping receipts to ensure that the actual amount of VAT properly goes to the state coffers.          

In early October, the revenue board issued a circular asking not to collect VAT separately. According to the notification, sales receipts will have to show products or services, quantity, VAT and supplementary duty, if any, mentioned altogether in taka, the Bangladesh currency.        

The price of the product including VAT will have to be mentioned in the price tag. At the same time, the price of the product, amount of VAT and supplementary duty, if applicable, will have to be mentioned separately in the receipt, a revenue board official explained.

According to the revenue board, the lottery was held on the receipts issued from 1 November to 30 November, and there were a total of 101 prizes. The 1st prize was Tk1 lakh, 2nd prize Tk50,000 and five 3rd prizes were Tk25,000 each.

The prize money is completely income tax-free. Lottery results can be found on the revenue board website www.nbr.gov.bd.

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TBS Report

06 December, 2021, 12:55 pm

Last modified: 06 December, 2021, 01:04 pm

VAT intelligence sues Nahid Enterprise for evading VAT worth Tk275 crore


The Value Added Tax (VAT) Intelligence Department has identified VAT evasion worth Tk275.32 crore of a bonded company named "Nahid Enterprise."  

The case was filed recently following an investigation by the VAT Audit, Intelligence and Investigation Directorate, according to a press statement.

Allegations are that Nahid Enterprise bought and sold items acquired using bond facilities from and to the open market without any proper declarations.

The company is also being investigated for smuggling and money laundering.

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Retailers to get inclusive VAT system

 Tribune Desk

 Published at 06:34 pm December 6th, 2021


Businesses will have to mention prices of products including VAT, as opposed to the existing practice of showing prices exclusive of VAT

All retail businesses will gradually come under an inclusive value added tax (VAT) collection system, to prevent further confusions of customers, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) said on Sunday.

As per the upcoming system, businesses will have to mention prices of products including VAT, as opposed to the existing practice of showing prices exclusive of VAT, said NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem.

The NBR chief made the comments while speaking at a program marking the 11th lottery on Value Added Tax (VAT) receipts generated through EFDs against purchases made by consumers from stores.

In some cases, Muneem said, consumers feel pressured or burdened with taxes when VAT in product prices is shown as an additional amount.

The NBR chairman, however, expressed his frustration seeing poor response in the EFDMS lottery.

According to the new VAT law-2019, the VAT collection will be inclusive with the price of product which was allowed in both inclusive and exclusive form in the old VAT law-1991.

A senior official of NBR said the EFDMS system would need some amendments aiming to fully implement the inclusive VAT challan system.

So far, NBR has installed 3,393 EFDs in Dhaka and Chittagong, which have been provided free of cost. 

But recently, NBR moved away from the decision to distribute free VAT machines to at least 100,000 business organizations.


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Tax exemptions cost 2.28pc of GDP: NBR

 DOULOT AKTER MALA |  December 09, 2021 00:00:00

Bangladesh counts 2.28 per cent or Tk 578.78 billion in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on offering tax exemptions to various sectors, an analysis finds and suggests periodical updating of the fiscal measure.

It also says some 36 per cent of total domestic product or a sum of Tk 9.15 trillion is excluded from the taxation of a financial year's tax base.


Following widespread allegations of the country's poor tax-GDP ratio in South Asia, below 10 per cent, the country's tax authority conducted the study to assess the volume of tax exemptions that have been eating up revenue.

The internal study of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has compiled the data of tax exemptions taking FY 2018-19 a base year in its report.

A seven-member 'tax expenditure review committee' prepared the report titled 'Tax Expenditure Analysis: An overview of Tax Expenditure through Personal and Corporate Income Tax Policy of Bangladesh'. It was placed with the NBR chairman on November 28, 2021.

"This ratio assumed to be valid in the medium term (3-5 years) because the sectoral share of GDP does not exhibit abrupt change and the tax exemptions are effective for the concerned period," the report says.

In addition to tax exemptions calculated on GDP proportion, there are other tax exemptions in the sectors that do not directly contribute to GDP.

The study shows tax-breaks caused losses of about Tk 80 billion per year from transfer of land property.

It says fisheries, readymade garments, and IT/software incomes, BEZA/BEPZA-based industries are the major tax-exemption sectors.

The report says the exemption measure deserves critical policy review.

Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Prof Mustafizur Rahman says, "It's true tax exemption should be reviewed periodically but tax exemption has multiplier benefit such as employment generation, luring investment etc."

If tax is exempted for industrialization it can contribute to generating indirect tax such as VAT, customs duties etc, he added.

The NBR has to think on broader aspect rather than thinking on only short-time revenue mobilisation, he noted about the logic behind such taxation measure.

"Loopholes in the system, corruption, tax evasion and other leakages should be checked through effective and efficient supervision rather than tightening grip on growth incentives," the economists says.

Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute (PRI) Dr Ahsan H Mansur suggests that in every fiscal year's budget there should be a tax-exemption analysis to review new one and phase out previous ones.

Reduction in dependence is necessary on tax-protection scheme in the domestic industry as it would not exist after the country would graduate from the least-developed-country status, he said. He feels that the policymakers should discuss the tax-exemption issues and its associated revenue loss in parliament "rather than clapping in the House".

"Time-bound exemption should not be renewed as it prompts infant industry to remain dependent on tax protection," he says.

Talking to the FE, income-tax policy member Md Shams Uddin said he was not member of the committee but there will be another extensive study on tax expenditure as this one has some limitations. The committee recommended a more rigorous study to rationalise the level of tax expenditure.

"There should be no arbitrary exemption. A policy needs to be formulated based on macroeconomic variables in allowing tax exemption. The coverage of cost-benefit analysis should not focus on revenue collection only," the committee recommended.

Protection of moral hazard prior to allowing tax exemption and cautious step to refrain from adverse selection are important.

"As income tax is a tax on income or profit, it should be the last option to give any exemption otherwise it will distort progressivity and equality," the report reads.

The existing exemptions require policy review, it said.

"No exemption should be discriminatory and its area should be narrow, well-defined and for a limited period," he added.

It recommended revisiting tax exemption in fisheries sector, further analysis of the tax breaks for BEZA and BEPA to check whether it is creating economic distortion and affection of competition.

The committee recommended not using tax exemption as a primary tool to attract foreign direct investment but removing other hurdles.

It says the tax exemption should be reviewed periodically following a set of guidelines.

"A 2.28-per cent tax expenditure-to-GDP ratio can be a concern for a growing economy like Bangladesh."

The committee recommends using the result of the study at the policy level.

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করোনাভাইরাসের প্রভাব কাটিয়ে অর্থনীতি গতিশীল হওয়ায় বেড়েছে রাজস্ব আদায়

 ট্রিবিউন ডেস্ক

 প্রকাশিত ০৮:৩৬ রাত ডিসেম্বর ৯, ২০২১

চলতি ২০২১-২২ অর্থবছরের প্রথম পাঁচ মাসে (জুলাই-নভেম্বর) এক লাখ ২৬৭ কোটি টাকা রাজস্ব আদায় করেছে এনবিআর

করোনাভাইরাস মহামারির নেতিবাচক প্রভাব কাটিয়ে আবারও রাজস্ব আদায়ে গতি পেয়েছে জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ড (এনবিআর)। চলতি ২০২১-২২ অর্থবছরের প্রথম পাঁচ মাসে (জুলাই-নভেম্বর) এক লাখ ২৬৭ কোটি টাকা রাজস্ব আদায় করেছে প্রতিষ্ঠানটি।

এনবিআর সংশ্লিষ্ট সূত্রে জানা গেছে, ২০২০-২১ অর্থবছরের প্রথম পাঁচ মাসে (জুলাই-নভেম্বর) রাজস্ব আদায় হয়েছিল ৮৭ হাজার ১৯৪ কোটি টাকা। অর্থাৎ এ বছর ১৩ হাজার ৭৩ কোটি টাকা বেশি রাজস্ব আদায় করেছে এনবিআর। রাজস্ব আদায়ে প্রবৃদ্ধি অর্জিত হয়েছে ১৫%। যদিও ২০২১-২২ অর্থবছরের প্রথম পাঁচ মাসের লক্ষ্যমাত্রার তুলনায় ১৩ হাজার ৯৮ কোটি টাকা পিছিয়ে রয়েছে। বাজেটে এ লক্ষ্যমাত্রা বেঁধে দেওয়া হয়েছিল। প্রথম পাঁচ মাসে আয়কর, মূল্য সংযোজন কর (ভ্যাট) ও শুল্ক বিভাগ মিলিয়ে প্রবৃদ্ধি হয়েছে ১৪.৯৯%।

সবচেয়ে বেশি প্রবৃদ্ধি হয়েছে আমদানি-রপ্তানি শুল্ক খাত থেকে। এ খাতে প্রবৃদ্ধি হয়েছে ২২.৫৬%। অর্থাৎ আমদানি-রপ্তানি বৃদ্ধি পাওয়ায় রাজস্ব আদায় বেড়েছে। আমদানি-রপ্তানির শুল্ক খাত থেকে আদায় হয়েছে ৩৩  হাজার ৯৬৪ কোটি ৮২ লাখ টাকা। আয়কর থেকে আদায় হয়েছে ২৯ হাজার ৬৯৭ কোটি ৫৬ লাখ টাকা।

অপরদিকে, ভ্যাটে প্রবৃদ্ধি হয়েছে ৯.৪৪%। প্রতিষ্ঠানটি ভ্যাট থেকে সর্বোচ্চ ৩৬ হাজার ৬০৪ কোটি ৯১ লাখ টাকা আদায় হয়েছে। যা লক্ষ্যমাত্রার ৮৬.৬৬%।

করোনাভাইরাসের সংক্রমণ কমে আসায় এবং ব্যবসা-বাণিজ্যে গতি বাড়ার পাশাপাশি জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ডের মনিটরিং ব্যবস্থা জোরদার, করনেট বৃদ্ধি ও অটোমেশনের কারণে রাজস্ব আদায়ে এমন গতি এসেছে বলে দাবি করেছেন এনবিআরের ঊর্ধ্বতন কর্মকর্তারা।

এ বিষয়ে বাংলাদেশ উন্নয়ন গবেষণা প্রতিষ্ঠানের (বিআইডিএস) গবেষক ড. জায়েদ বখত বলেন, “অর্থনীতি ধীরে ধীরে গতিশীল হচ্ছে। যে কারণে রাজস্ব আদায় বাড়ছে। এছাড়া জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ড করের আওতা বাড়ানোর চেষ্টা করছে। সেই চেষ্টা কিছুটা সফল হচ্ছে।”

প্রসঙ্গত, সরকারের বেঁধে দেওয়া লক্ষ্য অর্জন করতে হলে এনবিআরকে আগামী ৭ মাসে ২ লাখ ৩০ হাজার কোটি টাকার রাজস্ব আদায় করতে হবে।


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রাজস্বে প্রবৃদ্ধি ১৫%, ঘাটতি ১৪ হাজার কোটি টাকা

জ্যেষ্ঠ প্রতিবেদক

০৯ ডিসেম্বর ২০২১, ১০:২১ পিএম

চলতি ২০২১-২২ অর্থবছরের প্রথম পাঁচ মাসে (জুলাই-নভেম্বর) রাজস্ব আদায়ে প্রায় ১৫ শতাংশ প্রবৃদ্ধি অর্জন করেছে জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ড (এনবিআর)। প্রবৃদ্ধির বিচারে আশার সঞ্চার হলেও লক্ষ্যমাত্রার তুলনায় রাজস্ব আদায়ে বেশ পিছিয়ে আছে প্রতিষ্ঠানটি। সর্বশেষ সাময়িক হিসাব অনুযায়ী পাঁচ মাস শেষে ঘাটতি প্রায় ১৩ হাজার ৯৯ কোটি টাকা।

যদিও অর্থবছরের প্রথম চার মাসে (জুলাই-অক্টোবর) রাজস্ব আদায়ে রেকর্ড ১৬ শতাংশের বেশি প্রবৃদ্ধিতেও লক্ষ্যমাত্রার তুলনায় এনবিআর ৮ হাজার ৭৫৩ কোটি ১ লাখ টাকা পিছিয়ে ছিল।

পাঁচ মাসে রাজস্ব আহরণের প্রধান তিন খাত আয়কর, ভ্যাট ও আমদানি-রফতানি শুল্ক কোনো খাতেই লক্ষ্যমাত্রা অর্জন হয়নি। ভ্যাট বা মূসকে ঘাটতি সবচেয়ে বেশি হয়েছে। এই খাতে সাড়ে ৯ শতাংশ প্রবৃদ্ধি হলেও রাজস্ব আহরণে পিছিয়ে আছে ৫ হাজার ৬৩৫ কোটি টাকার বেশি। তবে প্রত্যাশার তুলনায় ভালো করেছে আমদানি ও রফতানি শুল্কে। এ খাতে সাড়ে ২২ শতাংশ প্রবৃদ্ধি হলেও ঘাটতি ৪ হাজার ৭৮৯ কোটি টাকা। সবচেয়ে কম ঘাটতি হয়েছে আয়কর খাতে প্রায় ২ হাজার ৬৭৫ কোটি টাকা।

বৃহস্পতিবার (৯ ডিসেম্বর) জাতীয় ভ্যাট দিবস ও ভ্যাট সপ্তাহ উদযাপন উপলক্ষে আয়োজিত সংবাদ সম্মেলনে এনবিআর চেয়ারম্যান আবু হেনা মো. রহমাতুল মুনিম সাংবাদিকদের এসব তথ্য জানিয়েছেন।

রাজস্ব আদায়ে সন্তুষ্টি প্রকাশ করে এনবিআর চেয়ারম্যান বলেন, জুলাই থেকে নভেম্বর পর্যন্ত গত বছরের একই সময়ের তুলনায় ১৫ শতাংশ প্রবৃদ্ধি হয়েছে। রাজস্ব আদায় হয়েছে ১ লাখ ২৬৭ কোটি টাকা। গত বছর একই সময়ে আদায় হয়েছিল ৮৭ হাজার ১৯৪ কোটি টাকা। যেসব সংস্কার কার্যক্রম হাতে নেওয়া হয়েছে, তা বাস্তবায়ন হলে রাজস্ব আদায় আরও বহুগুণ বেড়ে যাবে। সামনে আমাদের অনেক চ্যালেঞ্জ রয়েছে।

এনবিআর থেকে পাওয়া প্রাথমিক হিসাব অনুযায়ী, জুলাই থেকে নভেম্বর পর্যন্ত আমদানি ও রফতানি পর্যায়ে শুল্ক আহরণে সরকারের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা ছিল ৩৮ হাজার ৭৫৩ কোটি টাকা। যার বিপরীতে এনবিআরের সংগ্রহ ৩৩ হাজার ৯৬৪ কোটি টাকা। এই খাতে ৪ হাজার ৭৮৯ কোটি টাকা পিছিয়ে রয়েছে।

স্থানীয় পর্যায়ে মূসক বা ভ্যাট বাবদ আয়ের ৪২ হাজার ২৪০ কোটি টাকা আয়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা থাকলেও এনবিআর সংগ্রহ করেছে ৩৬ হাজার ৬০৪ কোটি টাকা। ৫ মাসে এ খাতে সরকারের আয়ের হিসাব থেকে ঘাটতি হয়েছে ৫ হাজার ৬৩৫ কোটি টাকা। চলতি বছর এ খাত থেকে ১ লাখ ২৮ হাজার কোটি টাকা আদায়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রার রয়েছে এনবিআরের।

অন্যদিকে আয়কর বাবদ জুলাই থেকে নভেম্বর পর্যন্ত সময়ে ৩২ হাজার ৩৭২ কোটি টাকা আয়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা থাকলেও এনবিআর আদায় করেছে ২৯ হাজার ৬৯৭ কোটি টাকা। এ খাতেও আয়ের তুলনায় ঘাটতি সৃষ্টি হয়েছে ২ হাজার ৬৭৪ কোটি টাকা।

উল্লেখ্য, ৪১ হাজার ১১৮ কোটি ২০ লাখ টাকার রাজস্ব ঘাটতি নিয়ে গত ২০২০-২১ অর্থবছর শেষ করেছিল এনবিআর। চলতি ২০২১-২০২২ অর্থবছরের বাজেটে মোট রাজস্ব আয়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা ধরা হয়েছে ৩ লাখ ৮৯ হাজার কোটি টাকা। এর মধ্যে এনবিআরের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা তিন লাখ ৩০ হাজার কোটি টাকা।

মূল্য সংযোজন কর বা ভ্যাট থেকে সবচেয়ে বেশি অর্থাৎ ১ লাখ ২৮ হাজার ৮৭৩ কোটি টাকা, আয়কর ও ভ্রমণ কর থেকে ১ লাখ ৫ হাজার ৪৭৫ কোটি টাকা এবং আমদানি শুল্ক থেকে ৯৫ হাজার ৬৫২ কোটি টাকা আয়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা ধরা হয়।


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10 December, 2021, 04:40 pm

Last modified: 10 December, 2021, 04:44 pm

NBR honours 9 companies for paying highest VAT

Nine companies received the awards for paying the highest amount of VAT during FY 19-20

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) today awarded nine companies for paying the highest amount of value-added tax (VAT) in their respective sectors during the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal handed over the awards at a function held at the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB) Bhaban in the city.

Chaired by NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Md Jashim Uddin spoke at the function as special guest.

AHM Mustafa Kamal urged all concerned including the business community to engage themselves more in paying taxes including VAT and thus motivate others.

He laid emphasis on creating close relations between VAT collector and people to increase VAT collection.

In manufacturing sector, Aristopharma Ltd, Square Toiletries Limited, Maya Biri Factory won the awards.

On the other hand, SM Motors, AMCO Bajaj International and MABS Union Motors Ltd won the awards in trading sector.

In services sector, Edotco Bangladesh Company Ltd, Grey Advertising Bangladesh Limited and Robert Bosch Bangladesh Ltd won the awards.

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TBS Report

11 December, 2021, 10:15 pm

Last modified: 11 December, 2021, 10:20 pm

Tk35 crore deficit in revenue collection in Hili land port in 5 months of 2021-22

Officials of the land port said the revenue collection is higher than that in the previous fiscal year even though the collection fell short of the target for this fiscal



The deficit in revenue collection from the Hili land port in Dinajpur stood at Tk35.27 crore in the first five months of the current fiscal year 2021-22 against the target of Tk197.58 crore set by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

The NBR set a higher target of revenue collection, Tk453.7 crore, for this fiscal after revenue collection exceeded the target in the last fiscal year. In 2020-21, the revenue collection target was Tk314 crore.

Officials of the land port said the revenue collection is higher than that in the previous fiscal year even though the collection fell short of the target for this fiscal.

SM Nurul Alam Khan, Revenue Officer, Hili Land Port Customs Station, said it is not possible to achieve the desired target as the NBR set a much higher target for revenue collection from this port in 2021-22. 

However, so far the revenue collection in the current financial year is higher than the previous financial year. For example, in November alone, the revenue growth in this financial year is 22% as compared to the same time in the previous financial year. In the current fiscal, against the target of Tk40.32 crore in November, Tk32.54 crore was raised, he added.

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জিএফআই’র প্রতিবেদন

ছয় বছরে ৪৯৬৫ কোটি ডলার পাচার

নিজস্ব প্রতিবেদক

ডিসেম্বর ১৭, ২০২১

২০১৪ সালের হিসাব বাদে ২০০৯ থেকে ২০১৫ পর্যন্ত ছয় বছরে বাংলাদেশ থেকে ৪ হাজার ৯৬৫ কোটি ডলার বিদেশে পাচার হয়েছে। এ সময়ের মধ্যে প্রতিবছর গড়ে পাচার হয়েছে ৮২৭ কোটি ডলার।

গতকাল বৃহস্পতিবার যুক্তরাষ্ট্রভিত্তিক আন্তর্জাতিক সংস্থা গ্লোবাল ফাইন্যান্সিয়াল ইন্টিগ্রিটির (জিএফআই) এক প্রতিবেদনে এ তথ্য উঠে এসেছে। 

জিএফআই’র প্রতিবেদনে বাংলাদেশের ক্ষেত্রে ২০১৪, ২০১৬, ২০১৭ ও ২০১৮ সালের তথ্য-উপাত্ত দেওয়া হয়নি। এ ছাড়া ২০১৫ সালের পর থেকে জিএফআই’র প্রতিবেদনে বাংলাদেশের কোনো তথ্য নেই।

ওই প্রতিবেদনে দুটি প্রক্রিয়ায় অর্থ পাচারের কথা বলেছে জিএফআই। এর মধ্যে একটি বিদেশ থেকে পণ্য আমদানির মূল্য বেশি দেখানো (ওভার ইনভয়েসিং)। অপরটি রফতানিতে মূল্য কম দেখানো (আন্ডার ইনভয়েসিং)। 

২০০৯ সালের পর বাংলাদেশের ক্ষেত্রে মূল্য ঘোষণায় গড়মিল দেখিয়ে অর্থ পাচারের পরিমাণ বেড়েছে বলেও উল্লেখ করা হয় ওই প্রতিবেদনে।

উন্নয়নশীল ১৩৪ দেশ থেকে বাণিজ্যের আড়ালে এক দশমিক ছয় ট্রিলিয়ন বা ১ লাখ ৬০ হাজার কোটি (১ ট্রিলিয়নে ১ লাখ কোটি) ডলার পাচার হয়েছে বলে জিএফআই’র প্রতিবেদনে উঠে আসে। এতে ১৩৪টি উদীয়মান ও উন্নয়নশীল দেশের গত ১০ বছরের (২০০৯-২০১৮) আন্তর্জাতিক বাণিজ্যে মূল্য ঘোষণার গড়মিল দেখিয়ে কীভাবে দেশ থেকে অর্থ পাচার হয়, সেই চিত্র তুলে ধরা হয়েছে। পাশাপাশি ৩৬টি উন্নত দেশের সঙ্গে তুলনামূলক চিত্রও তুলে ধরা হয়েছে প্রতিবেদনে। এতে বলা হয়, আমদানি-রফতানিকারকরা পণ্য আমদানি-রফতানির সময় প্রকৃত মূল্য না দেখিয়ে কমবেশি দেখানোর মাধ্যমে অর্থপাচার করে।

প্রতিবেদনে দেয় সময়কালীন সবচেয়ে বেশি অর্থ পাচার করা হয়েছে চীন থেকে। এরপরই আছে পোল্যান্ড, ভারত, রাশিয়া ও মালয়েশিয়া।

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TBS Report

17 December, 2021, 02:50 pm

Last modified: 18 December, 2021, 09:41 am

Bangladesh lost Tk71,000cr to trade misinvoicing a year

The estimated losses accounted for 17.3% of Bangladesh's international trade with all trading partners during the same period


Bangladesh lost a whopping $8,275 million or Tk71,000 crore on an average between 2009 and 2018 to trade misinvoicing, equivalent to more than one-fifth of the country's tax collection target for the current fiscal year, says a report by a US-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

The estimated losses accounted for 17.3% of Bangladesh's international trade with all trading partners during the same period, according to the report titled "Trade-Related Illicit Financial Flows in 134 Developing Countries 2009-2018" released on Thursday. 

The latest data available for Bangladesh was for 2015 when the country lost $11,871 million. There was no such data for 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the report said.

Trade misinvoicing occurs when importers and exporters deliberately falsify the declared value of goods on invoices submitted to customs authorities.

To identify potential trade misinvoicing, GFI examined official trade data reported to the United Nations to identify mismatches, in the data regarding what any two countries reported about their trade with one another.

The GFI report finds an estimated $1.6 trillion in potential trade misinvoicing among 134 developing countries, of which $835 billion occurred between developing countries and 36 advanced economies in 2018.

In terms of averages over the ten-year period, China topped the list with $445.3 billion a year, followed by India $67.5 billion, Russia $63.7 billion, Poland $61.1 billion and Malaysia $60.8 billion. 

Bangladesh had the third-largest average value gaps or mismatches in international trade transactions – only estimates of misinvoicing – among the eight South Asian nations.

India led the list among eight South Asian nations, followed by Pakistan with $8.54 billion, Bangladesh $8.28 billion, Sri Lanka $4.09 billion and Nepal $1.02 billion.

Other south Asian countries including Maldives, Afghanistan and Bhutan lost less than $1 billion per year during the reported period.

Moreover, Bangladesh's loss to trade misinvoicing with the 36 advanced economies averaged $3,568 billion during the decade, which is 14.3% of the country's international trade.

GFI's President and CEO Tom Cardamone said, "During a time when developing countries are scrambling for every penny to fund vaccines and medicines to fight Covid-19 infections, billions of dollars in duties and taxes are going uncollected. It is absolutely shocking."

"How few governments are paying any attention to these massive losses," he added,

The report said at the national level, countries should make trade misinvoicing illegal, strengthen law enforcement capacities of customs authorities, establish multi-agency teams to address customs fraud, tax evasion and other financial crimes, implement readily available trade misinvoicing risk assessment tools and strengthen customs oversight of Free Trade Zones.

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$49.65b siphoned off from Bangladesh in six years: GFI

 FE REPORT | Published:  December 18, 2021 09:15:27 | Updated:  December 18, 2021 22:49:49


Over US$49.65 billion has gone out of Bangladesh through trade-based illicit financial flows (IFFs) only in six years, according to an international watchdog's findings on the money laundering between 2009 and 2015.

The Global Financial Integrity (GFI) in its latest report, published on December 16, calculates the country figure from the value gaps caused by misinvoicing in trade between 134 developing countries and all of their global trading partners.

A USA-based think-tank, GFI also documented around $1.6 trillion worth of value gaps identified in trade between 134 developing countries and all of their global trading partners in 2018--the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available. However, the GFI report didn't include trade-misinvoicing data of Bangladesh on the years 2014, and 2016 to 2018 for unavailability of sufficient annual trade data of the country to different international organisations

"There are two major reasons behind the trade-based money laundering from the country - skill and capacity gap of the government to spot under-and over- invoicing that aim to launder money, and the people involved in money laundering are powerful and maintain close ties with the government," says Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman.

He notes that though the government and its relevant departments don't strongly recognise trade-based money laundering, it has been one of the major ways to siphon off money from the country apart from other means.

"The government authorities dealing with revenue collection, indentifying illegal money flow, and punishing the money-launderers are ill-equipped to trace and prevent illegal transfer of funds using modern technology," he said.

"So, skill and capacity development of government institutions and political commitment are required to prevent the trade-based money laundering," Dr Zaman suggests.

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Distinguished Fellow Professor Mustafizur Rahman says though the GFI report lacks latest money-laundering data on Bangladesh, some of the recent disclosures from government agencies and media reports indicate that money laundering is on the rise.

He mentions that the government has established Transfer Pricing Cell (TPC) under the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to ensure tax compliance in relation to cross-border transactions, but the unit hasn't been provided with sufficient and skilled workforce and required budget.

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Considering surcharge, doctors are wealthier than businessmen

 Tribune Report

 Published at 08:24 pm December 18th, 2021

Those who show assets of more than TK3 crore have to pay a surcharge on that tax

According to the latest data from the National Board of Revenue (NBR), the doctors are paying the highest amounts of surcharge against assets. 

Usually, doctors pay tax at a fixed rate for their income.

Around 1,596 taxpayers have paid surcharges in tax zone-10 among which most of the taxpayers in this tax region are doctors. 

According to the data analysis, it shows that professional physicians are wealthier than big businessmen in terms of surcharges imposed on assets. 

This information has been obtained by looking at the recently published annual report of NBR for the fiscal year 2019-20. 

It is learned that about 25,000 taxpayer doctors are among the taxpayers registered in the highest tax-paid tax zone-10. 

Lutful Azeem, commissioner of tax zone-10 said: “In my experience, I have seen that professionals are prone to less tax evasion, as they do not hide their wealth. Therefore, higher surcharges against assets have been received from the professional class compared to others.”

The surcharge is determined by the tax. Then those who show assets of more than TK3 crore have to pay a surcharge on that tax.

The taxpayers have to pay the surcharge along with the annual income tax return between July and November of the following fiscal year.

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রিয়াদ হোসেন

11 November, 2021, 06:55 pm

Last modified: 11 November, 2021, 08:22 pm

কর ফাইলে গাড়ির তথ্য লুকানো করদাতাদের খোঁজে এনবিআর

সূত্র জানায়, গত বছরের শেষ দিকে এনবিআর ৪ লাখ ৮৫ হাজার গাড়ির ভুয়া টিআইএন চিহ্নিত করে।



ব্যক্তিগত বা পরিবহনের জন্য গাড়ি কিনেছেন কিন্তু আয়কর ফাইলে ওই তথ্য দেখাননি, কিংবা দেখালেও কম মূল্য দেখিয়েছেন, এমন করদাতাদের খোঁজ শুরু করেছে জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ডের (এনবিআর) আয়কর বিভাগ। 

ইতিমধ্যে আয়কর বিভাগ এ-সংক্রান্ত বেশ কিছু তথ্য উদ্ধার করেছে। 

এনবিআরের আয়কর বিভাগ সূত্র জানায়, রাজধানী ও এর বাইরের বেশ কয়েকটি আয়কর সার্কেল অনুসন্ধান শেষ করেছে। এর মধ্যে রাজধানীর একটি সার্কেলের অনুসন্ধান শেষে দেখা গেছে, ৫ হাজার করদতার মধ্যে ২০০ জন গাড়িতে বিনিয়োগ থাকলেও তারা আয়কর ফাইলে ওই বিনিয়োগ বা এ-সংক্রান্ত তথ্য দেখাননি। এতে কর ফাঁকি পাওয়া গেছে ২ কোটি ৭৬ লাখ টাকা।

দেশে ৩১টি কর জোনের অধীনে কর সার্কেল অফিস রয়েছে ৬ শতাশিক। 

আগামী কয়েক মাসের মধ্যে এ বিষয়ে বিস্তারিত অনুসন্ধান শেষ হবে বলে আশা করছেন অনুসন্ধানের সঙ্গে যুক্ত কর্মকর্তারা। এ প্রক্রিয়ায় কর ফাইলে না দেখানো প্রায় ৩০ হাজার গাড়ির তথ্য পাওয়া যাবে বলে আশা করছেন তারা, যাতে অন্তত ৭০০ কোটি টাকার কর ফাঁকি উদ্ঘাটনের সম্ভাবনা দেখছেন।  

বাংংলাদেশ সড়ক পরিবহন কর্তৃপক্ষের (বিআরটিএ) কাছ থেকে গাড়ির তথ্য নেওয়ার পর ওই তথ্যের সঙ্গে করদাতাদের কর ফাইলের তথ্য মিলিয়ে এ অনুসন্ধান কাজ চালানো হচ্ছে। গাড়ি নিবন্ধনের সময় ক্রয়মূল্য বাধ্যতামূলকভাবে বিআরটিএকে জানাতে হয়। 

গত বছর থেকে বিআরটিএ ও এনবিআরের মধ্যে ইন্টিগ্রেশন হওয়ার পর তারা একে অন্যের তথ্যভাণ্ডার ব্যবহার করতে পারছে। ফলে বিআরটিএর তথ্যভাণ্ডারে দেওয়া গাড়ির ক্রয়মূল্যের তথ্য করদাতা কর ফাইলে দেখিয়েছিলেন কি না, কিংবা কম দেখানো হয়েছে কি না, তা জানার পথ সহজ হয়েছে।  ইতিমধ্যে ভুয়া ট্যাক্স আইডেন্টিফিকেশন (ই-টিআইএন) নম্বর দিয়ে গাড়ি কেনার সুযোগ প্রায় বন্ধ হয়ে গেছে। 

ওই কার্যক্রমে সফল হওয়ার পর এবার গত ছয় বছরে কর ফাইলে মিথ্যা তথ্য দেওয়া করদাতাদের বিষয়েও একই কায়দায় অনুসন্ধান চালানো হচ্ছে বলে দ্য বিজনেস স্ট্যান্ডার্ডকে জানিয়েছেন এনবিআরের আয়কর বিভাগের এ কার্যক্রমের সঙ্গে যুক্ত একজন ঊর্ধ্বতন কর্মকতা। 

নাম প্রকাশ না করার শর্তে ওই কর্মকর্তা বলেন, 'আমরা একটি আয়কর সার্কেলেই ১০০টি গাড়ির বিনিয়োগের তথ্যে গরমিল পেয়েছি, যাতে কর ফাঁকির বের হয়েছে পৌনে ৩ কোটি টাকা।' 

তিনি আরও বলেন, 'সব মিলিয়ে ৩০০ কর সার্কেলে যদি গড়ে ১০০ করে গাড়ির বিনিয়োগে মিথ্যা তথ্য উদ্ঘাটন করা সম্ভব হয়, তাতে ৩০ হাজার গাড়িতে এ অনিয়ম বের হবে। এতে আমরা আশা করছি, ৭০০ কোটি টাকার কর ফাঁকি বের হবে।'

তিনি জানান, প্রাপ্ত অনুসন্ধানের ভিত্তিতে ইতিমধ্যে কর পরিহার করা অর্থ আদায়ে দাবিনামা জারি শুরু আয়কর বিভাগ। দেশব্যাপী পুরো কার্যক্রম শেষে হিসাব চূড়ান্ত করতে আগামী বছরের জুন পর্যন্ত সময় লাগতে পারে বলে জানান তিনি। 

বিদ্যমান আয়কর অধ্যাদেশের সংশ্লিষ্ট ধারা অনুযায়ী, আয়কর ফাইলে মিথ্যা তথ্য দেওয়ার কারণে আর্থিক শাস্তির পাশাপাশি ফৌজদারি অপরাধেও অভিযুক্ত হতে পারেন ওই করদাতা। ফৌজদারি শাস্তি হিসেবে সর্বোচ্চ ৩ মাস থেকে ৩ বছরের কারাদণ্ড ও জরিমানার বিধান রয়েছে। যদিও এ ধরনের শাস্তির উদাহরণ বিরল। 

এনবিআরের আইন অনুসারে, আয়কর বিভাগ করদাতার ওই ফাইল রিওপেন করে যে পরিমাণ বিনিয়োগ গোপন করা হয়েছে, তা তার আয় হিসেবে গণ্য করে এর উপর কর আরোপ করতে পারে। প্রযোজ্য করের পাশাপাশি প্রতি বছরের জন্য ১৫ শতাংশ জরিমানার বিধানও রয়েছে, যা ছয় বছর আগের সময়ের পর্যন্ত আদায় করা যায়। 

সূত্র জানায়, গত বছরের শেষ দিকে এনবিআর ১২ লাখ ৮৬ হাজার রেজিস্ট্রেশনের বিপরীতে ই-টিআইএন পরীক্ষা করে ৪ লাখ ৮৫ হাজার গাড়ির ভুয়া টিআইএন চিহ্নিত করে। 

এনবিআর সূত্র জানায়, ম্যানুয়াল পদ্ধতির বাইরে গিয়ে এনবিআর এখন ডাটা-ড্রিভেন পদ্ধতির দিকে হাঁটছে। এ লক্ষ্যে বিআরটিএ ছাড়াও সঞ্চয়পত্র অধিদপ্তরের সঙ্গে তথ্য আদান-প্রদান শুরু করেছে। এর বাইরে অফিস অভ দ্য রেজিস্ট্রার অভ জয়েন্ট স্টক কোম্পানিজ অ্যান্ড ফার্মস (আরজেএসসি), সিটি কর্পোরেশনসহ অন্যান্য দপ্তরের কাছ থেকেও তথ্য সংগ্রহের কার্যক্রম চলমান রয়েছে। 

কর্মকর্তারা মনে করছেন, এ প্রক্রিয়ায় করদাতাদের আয়করের আওতায় আনা অনেক সহজ হবে। 

এনবিআরের এমন উদ্যোগকে সাধুবাদ জানিয়েছেন  প্রতিষ্ঠানটির সাবেক চেয়ারম্যান ড. মোহাম্মদ আবদুল মজিদ। তিনি বলেন, 'এ কাজটি আরো বহু আগে করা উচিত ছিল, দেরি হয়ে গেছে। বিভিন্ন  প্রতিষ্ঠানের সঙ্গে ইন্টিগ্রেশনের মাধ্যমে কর ফাঁকি ধরা সহজ এবং এটি  ধরার রাইট (অধিকার) এনবিআরের রয়েছে।'

সেন্টার ফর পলিসি ডায়লগের (সিপিডি) সিনিয়র রিসার্চ ফেলো তৌফিকুল ইসলাম খান দীর্ঘদিন ধরে কর ইস্যু নিয়ে কাজ করছেন। এনবিআরের এমন উদ্যোগকে  তিনিস্বাগত জানিয়েছেন। তিনি টিবিএসকে বলেন, 'সংশ্লিষ্ট পক্ষগুলোর মধ্যে সমন্বয় বাড়ানো গেলে আয়, ব্যয় কিংবা সম্পদের ক্রস চেক করা সহজ হবে, যাতে আরো ভালো সুফল মিলবে।'

দেশে বর্তমানে ই-টিআইএনধারীর সংখ্যা ৬৭ লাখ, যার মধ্যে গত বছর আয়কর রিটার্ন জমা দিয়েছেন ২২ লাখের মতো।

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CGA sees higher tax collection than NBR shows for FY '21

 December 26, 2021 12:00:00


The tax revenue collection was Tk 63.78 billion higher than what the National Board of Revenue (NBR) had reported in its final estimate for the last fiscal year (FY 2020-21).

The amount finally stood at Tk 2.66 trillion, according to a latest calculation by the office of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), which handed over the findings to the NBR's Research and Statistics Wing last week.

The NBR had earlier estimated the revenue at Tk 2.59 trillion collected in the form of income tax, travel tax, customs duty, value added tax, supplementary duty (SD), excise duty etc.

Official sources said that it was for the first time the CGA data showed higher actual earnings than that of the NBR calculation.

Previously, the NBR's tax collection figures were always higher than that of the CGA.

Talking to the FE, Director General of the NBR Research and Statistics Wing Md Anwar Hossain said digitization of the CGA has started paying off and the tax collection data is now being rightly compiled thanks to the ibas++.

Earlier, there were some legal flaws including the accounting system under the VAT law 1991 that used to cause leaving a large sum of revenue unaccounted for, he said.


Officials said NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem has strictly prohibited showing inflated figures just for the sake of achieving the revenue collection target.

The taxmen now show what they actually earned, they said, adding that but many cases of tax deducted at source (TDS) take time to include in the final data as the tax offices are yet to come under full-fledged digitization.

In FY 2016-17, the CGA office found Tk 134.93 billion less revenue than that of the NBR's figure, and the gap was widening over the years.

The economists and researchers on different occasions expressed concern over the actual tax revenue data.

In FY 2010-11, the gap between the  data provided by the two offices was Tk 29.23 billion and it increased to Tk 126.45 billion in 2014-15.

A senior NBR official said the NBR has already revised the tax collection data as per the CGA figure.

Senior research fellow of the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Towfiqul Islam Khan said that it was necessary to reconcile the tax revenue collection data for framing public policies on providing subsidies for fuel, fertilisers etc.

"We're getting the final data after six months in December … it's not impossible to prepare such data within a month as ibas++ system is there," said the economist.

Unless the policymakers or researchers conduct analysis on the basis of reconciled tax collection data, framing policy to support the challenging situation would be difficult, he added.

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Foreigners in Bangladesh encouraged to repatriate wages through formal channels

 SIDDIQUE ISLAM | Published:  December 28, 2021 09:05:17 | Updated:  December 28, 2021 15:49:50

Bangladesh relaxed regulations allowing foreigners working in the country to repatriate most of their wages monthly and the remainder at yearend to encourage them to send their incomes through official channels.

Under the eased rules, authorised dealer (AD) banks now can remit up to 80 per cent of foreigners' monthly net income instead of 75 per cent, according to a notification issued Monday by the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

"The remaining 20 per cent of foreign nationals' net income will be remittable at the end of the financial year upon completion of income-tax assessment, supported by certificate issued by tax authority concerned," it says.

Earlier, the foreigners were allowed to transfer remaining 25 per cent of their genuine savings out of salaries/benefits at the time of leaving Bangladesh permanently after expiry of period of service in line with the Guidelines for Foreign Exchange Transactions (GFET).

The AD banks are also allowed to remit foreign nationals' net income from the employers' Foreign Currency Account opened and maintained for this purpose anywhere the family members of the foreign employees reside, according to the notification.

"We've relaxed regulations on family-remittance facility for foreign nationals working particularly mega-projects in Bangladesh," a BB senior official told the FE.

It will also help attract efficient foreign experts to work in Bangladesh, according to the central banker.

He also says such relaxations will also help encourage foreign nationals, particularly from SAARC-member countries, to send their incomes through banking channels.

There are no specific data on the number of foreign workers in Bangladesh, but media reports and people concerned say the figure could run into several hundred thousand.

According to home ministry's count the number is as low as 86,000, and most of them are from India. As per Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), the figure is at least 0.25 million, and of them, only 90,000 are legal workers.

The National Skill Development Authority, an institute under the office of the prime minister, revealed at a workshop in 2019 that foreign nationals working in Bangladesh remit about US$6 billion each year to their countries, a media report says.

Foreign nationals are working in 32 sectors, including garment industries and buying companies, merchandising companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), information and communication technology (ICT) sector, education, engineering institutes, consulting firms, multinational companies, private power plants, international contractors, hotel-restaurants, mobile-phone companies, oil and gas companies and so.

They usually are involved with mid-level management and higher positions.

By a stark contrast, analysts say, Bangladeshi expatriates are largely low-paid employees for lack of qualifications and sector-specific skills. They suggest upgrading the overseas manpower-employment system so that they can get high-end jobs and help in remittance enhancement for the country.

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28 December, 2021, 09:30 pm

Last modified: 28 December, 2021, 09:59 pm


Lower tax rates will bring investment, innovation into market: GP CEO tells Bloomberg

“If there’s a better tax regime, there will be more investment and more innovation will come into the market,” Yasir Azman said in an interview


Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone is talking with The Business Standard during an interview at GP Center in the capital. Photo: Rehman Asad/TBS

The high tax rate in Bangladesh is discouraging telecoms operators from investing further in the country as it prepares to adopt 5G technology, said Grameenphone(GP) CEO Yasir Azman.

Grameenphone Ltd is Bangladesh's biggest listed company by market value and majority-owned by Norway's Telenor ASA, pays South Asia's highest levels of corporate tax at 40%, which hinders efforts to expand services, reports Bloomberg.

The corporate tax rate is 22% in neighboring India and 30% in Pakistan, according to the industry body Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).

"If there's a better tax regime, there will be more investment and more innovation will come into the market," Yasir Azman said in an interview.

Telecom services are "no longer a luxury product. It's a necessary product. It's an integral part of our growth and our people," he added.

As one of Asia's fastest-growing nations, mobile phone companies are a major source of revenue for Bangladesh's government, with the sector accounting for 5.3% of the country's economy.

Mobile technology is key to the nation's "digital transformation," a key theme in Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's manifesto known as Vision 2021, the year that marks the country's 50th year since independence. But private carriers claim that the country's punitive tax system stops them from expanding their networks and ability to reach its rural citizens.

 Already Bangladesh records some of the world's lowest revenues per user at $2.90 a month, according to a report published by GSMA in 2018.

"That is why the business environment needs to be very constructive, positive, and supportive towards foreign investors for the technology companies," said Azman, who took the helm as Grameenphone's first Bangladeshi CEO in February 2020.

"We play a critical role in the ecosystem."

In response to GP's complaints, Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar said that the company's demand for lower corporate rates can't be justified just so the company can make more profit.

"The government needs taxes for public spending, everyone must pay tax," Jabbar told Bloomberg.

"If telecom companies invest more to serve customers better, then the question of tax cuts may arise."

Grameenphone, which dominates Bangladesh's telecom sector with just under 50% market share, is banking on growth in data usage as Bangladesh continues to register steady economic growth and a faster recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic than its regional peers. The company earned a record 37.2 billion taka ($433.7 million) in profits last year, up 7.8% from 2019.

Bangladesh's GDP is expected to increase to 6.6% in the fiscal year ending June, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF.

As the coronavirus pandemic abates and policies remain accommodative. Growth may rise to 7.1% the fiscal year after that, the IMF said.

Despite the company's criticism of Bangladesh's tax take, Grameenphone in March purchased an additional 10.4 MHz of spectrum for $391 million, taking its total acquisition to 47.4 MHz spectrum. As the Bangladesh government trials 5G services with state-run Teletalk this month, private operators are preparing for a spectrum auction expected in March.

"I look forward to a better tax regime, I believe that it is possible when we bring in 5G," Yasir Azman said.

"We cannot expect that the tax rate will go down to 25% right away, but we can start at 35%."

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Bangladesh's GDP blowup dwarfs tax ratio

 JASIM UDDIN HAROON | Published:  December 30, 2021 08:37:36 | Updated:  January 02, 2022 08:21:39

A GDP blowup with many leftover economic activities now taken into basket downsizes the ratio of Bangladesh's tax receipts to the gross domestic product, making it region's lowest and hence warranting a raise.

Economists and taxmen say the shrinkage in the country's tax-to-GDP ratio-the ratio of tax revenue to GDP is driven by the rebasing of the national economy.

The macroeconomic indicator is believed lowest among the South Asian nations, coming to 7.7 per cent as of the past 2020-21 fiscal year, being measured by using new GDP elements, according to an official document prepared by the Ministry of Finance.

A new base year has now been chosen by the country's statistical organisation --BBS--to measure all available economic activities of Bangladesh. The base year is now 2015-16 which has taken more economic activities into its basket than in the previous base year of 2005-06.

Frequent changes in base year are a routine work for any statistical agency, such as the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, for economic calculations. The size of the economy usually becomes bigger at a time when the GDP is measured under a new base year.

However, this new tax-GDP ratio for the FY 20201 is the lowest as projections made by a number of government agencies were much higher.

Finance Division projected it to be 11.95 per cent at the end of the FY2021 under the old base year, 2005-06. And it should have been at 9.9 per cent under the new base year.

General Economics Division (GED) of the Ministry of Planning in its five-year plan, beginning FY21 [8th five-year plan], projected it to be 9.0 per cent.

Economists familiar with government's fiscal issues were astonished over such development in the key indicator. They say rebasing has no relation with the fall of the indicator.

"Why does the ratio fall? I don't know," quipped Dr Ahsan H. Mansur, an independent voice on the fiscal matters of the government of Bangladesh.

"Actually, I don't find any cause-effect relationship between tax mobilisation and the new GDP value," the economist says.

He thinks a growing and sound economy should have seen increase in both: tax and GDP. "There should not have been significant changes between them (tax and GDP)."

"To my mind, the ratio may nudge up a little bit. But here in Bangladesh the GDP is expanding too fast but tax mobilisation is not following suit," says Dr Mansur, who had worked in a division at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He further comments that there are many African nations where the tax-to-GDP ratio is much higher than in Bangladesh.

However, higher tax revenue means that the country can spend more on improving infrastructure, health, education and social safety-net programmes.

The developed nations typically have higher tax-GDP proportions than in the developing countries.

But, according to the World Bank, such an indicator should be at least 15 per cent of the country's GDP.

The WB views this 15-per cent benchmark helps alleviate poverty, create employment and do welfare for the people. But the country never got to this goal.

Again poor tax mobilisation affects government's budget execution. Or government borrowing may be ballooning.

As the country's actual budget execution usually remains much lower than the original, the picture of government's fiscals remain defocused. Dr Zahid Hussain, another independent voice also familiar with the government fiscal matters, told the FE: "To my mind, one of the two figures [tax and GDP statistics] is not true."

Here the numerator is tax and the denominator is GDP. If GDP becomes high, then the ratio will fall, and vice-versa.

"Maybe, the GDP data are wrong or the tax-collection figures are wrong. I don't know which one is correct."

He says Bangladesh is comparing itself with its similar peer countries across the globe and hence "tax status also has to be considered accordingly".

Higher tax collection is deemed imperative to pay for public-welfare programmes and services. If the current situation continues, social security, education, public healthcare and infrastructure development may be affected in future, analysts say.

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Foreigners can now send full income to their country

Before sending the remittances, banks will have to ensure that the amount being moved does not exceed the balance in related bank accounts of the foreigners

By Tribune Report

December 28, 2021 7:56 PM

The government has relaxed the family remittance policy for foreigners. 

From now on, foreigners working in Bangladesh will be able to send 100% of their income to their own country.

In this case, they can send 80% of their income to their country at any time of the year without any question. This was 75% earlier.

Before sending the remittances, banks will have to ensure that the amount being moved does not exceed the balance in related bank accounts of the foreigners.

The remaining 20% remittance can be sent once at the end of the fiscal year with income tax certification.

Bangladesh Bank on Monday sent the instructions to the head offices of every bank in the country.

An official of Bangladesh Bank told Dhaka Tribune: “Earlier, foreigners could not send their remittance from Bangladesh easily to prevent money laundering and keep foreign exchange reserves strong.” 

“A mandatory part of their income had to be spent in Bangladesh. But after this announcement, that obligation is no longer there,” the official added.

For the last one and a half years, foreign exchange transactions have been relaxed to increase foreign exchange transactions and investment. 

Earlier, the foreign exchange policy was relaxed for foreign-owned companies. Now they are allowed to borrow loans in local currency from domestic banks without the approval of the central bank.

According to Bangladesh Bank, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $45.80 billion on Tuesday.

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29 December, 2021, 07:25 pm

Last modified: 29 December, 2021, 07:45 pm

BB decision to relax outward remittance rules positive: TIB

The annual revenue loss due to tax evasion in outward remittance is about 12,000 crores per year

The Bangladesh Bank's (BB) decision to allow foreigners to remit 80% of their income is positive. However, an integrated strategic policy is essential to eliminate irregularities in the recruitment of foreign workers, according to Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).

Formulation and implementation of such a policy, with the participation of all concerned, will help prevent money laundering, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said in a statement on Wednesday.

"A large number of the foreign workers in different sectors in the country work illegally and remit their earnings through unauthorised transaction channels like hundi. As a result, the annual revenue loss due to tax evasion is about 12 thousand crores per year," Iftekharuzzaman said citing a study published by TIB on 5 February 2020.

"However, the positive outcome from the central bank's decision can only be expected if foreign workers take the opportunity given by the Bangladesh Bank and remit their income legally," he added.

"Most of the foreign nationals do not follow the proper procedure for their employment in Bangladesh. They usually come on a tourist visa or visa on arrival or business visa, and later join various companies without following proper procedures," said the TIB executive director.

He further pointed out that since the government has not updated the minimum monthly salary limit, the employers do not even announce the correct salary of these foreigners to evade taxes. As a result, on the one hand, the government is losing a huge amount of revenue, on the other hand, an unscrupulous quarter is taking advantage of the existing system to smuggle money abroad.

The TIB recommended the formation of a joint task force comprising the National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), NGO Affairs Bureau and the special branches of the police to facilitate storing the data of all foreign nationals on arrival and departure, updating foreign workers' monthly income and conducting regular raids.


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Most corporate tax returns in Bangladesh may need amnesty

 DOULOT AKTER MALA | Published:  January 03, 2022 08:15:34 | Updated:  January 03, 2022 09:01:45


Some two-thirds of the corporate-tax returns may need general amnesty or get penalized by taxmen as their current tax year's pre-verified financial statements are unlikely to match with previous ones.

From the current tax year, all of the corporate taxpayers have to submit Document Verification System (DVS)-certified financial statements audited by chartered accountants (CA) with their tax returns mandatorily.

Until the last fiscal year, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) had received around 30,000 corporate-tax returns.

Although CA-audited financial statement is mandatory with each of the corporate-tax returns, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB), CAs usually certify only 10,000 to 12,000 financials adjoined to corporate-tax returns a year.

These data show nearly 20,000 or two-thirds of the financial statements may come with corrected financial statements this year using the ICAB-developed DVS.

Tax experts say the corporate taxpayers may need general amnesty from the tax department this year as taxmen would accept only DVS-verified financial statement with returns.

Most of the corporate taxpayers would submit their tax returns by January 15.

Both CAs and taxmen allege that some of the corporate taxpayers, who previously submitted fake audit reports to evade tax, submitted tax returns bypassing DVS-verified audited financials "managing tax circle offices or through underhand dealings".

They suggest strict punitive action and monitoring to check the unethical practice to ensure single audit report for a company for all purposes.

A top official of the revenue board's income-tax wing, preferring anonymity, said the NBR might consider case-to-case amnesty on previous audit reports of corporate taxpayers who would submit DVS-verified ones this year.

"We will accept DVS-verified corporate-tax returns from them without question," says a field-level tax official.

He says usually taxmen refrain from auditing the tax returns if 15-per cent higher income shown in the statement.

"In general, we audit less than 2.0 to 3.0 per cent of tax returns," he adds.

Another tax official said the NBR might not make public even though it offers amnesty as the matter may spark criticism.

Dr Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI), strongly recommends allowing the corporate taxpayers to correct their financial statements this year with the help of DVS as such amnesty would be required for a single time.

"Taxmen can apply 'Grandfather clause' in that case to offer general amnesty allowing corporate taxpayers to submit corrected tax returns once," he says.

Former member of the income-tax wing Aminur Rahman thinks a complex situation may be created this year unless the NBR offers amnesty on previous tax returns' financial statements which were cooked or not certified by CAs.

"From this year, all of the corporate taxpayers will have to submit DVS-verified audit report and the report would not match with the previous year's one," he says about a sure mismatch in such cases.

A tax return contains income, expenditure, assets and liabilities and other details that regular taxpayers, both individual and corporate, prepare in keeping with previous year. Any significant change in financials usually prompts taxmen to select tax files for auditing to check tax evasion.

The ICAB introduced DVS on December 1, 2020. Until December 31, 2021, some 323 CAs had registered under DVS while the number of registered firms under the verification system is 150.

President of the ICAB Md Shahadat Hossain holds the hope that authentication of the auditor's report must be ensured and submission of fake auditor's report must be stopped through DVS.

"It is responsibility of the relevant officials of the NBR to check whether any audit report has DVC (document-verification code)," he says.

He, however, lays emphasis on quality of audit and auditor's report as proper audit in compliance with auditing standards is important too.

"NBR has the right to check the quality of financial statements submitted to it and if there are deficiencies, they can take measures accordingly," he observed.

The ICAB conducts quality-assurance review of all auditors. Any auditors, audit firms and the audited financial statements can be reviewed by the quality-assurance department or investigated by ICAB's enforcement department anytime.

"Due to DVS, there is no scope to deny the responsibility for conducting audit and hence the responsible auditor or audit firm shall be subject to penalty for lack of quality once indentified," the ICAB president says.

"We believe that quality of audit will be enhanced ultimately in significant manner because of DVS."

ICAB council member Snehasish Barua said the NBR could make the corporate taxpayers by slapping a penal tax to show their previous undisclosed assets that they had concealed so far.

"The tax authority can consider accepting the current year's financial statement without any question as it's a transition period of corporate-tax compliance in Bangladesh with DVS," he adds.

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৩৭ কোটি টাকা ভ্যাট ফাঁকি দিয়েছে সোয়ান গ্রুপ

নিজস্ব প্রতিবেদক

জানুয়ারি ০৪, ২০২২


সোয়ান গ্রুপের তিনটি প্রতিষ্ঠানের বিরুদ্ধে তদন্ত করে ১৩৬ কোটি ৫ লাখ টাকার গোপন বিক্রয় হিসাব আটক করেছে এনবিআরের ভ্যাট গোয়েন্দা অধিদপ্তর। এর মাধ্যমে সরকারকে প্রায় ৩৬ কোটি ৬৯ লাখ টাকার ভ্যাট ফাঁকি দেয়া হয়েছে।

আজ মঙ্গলবার জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ডের (এনবিআর) ভ্যাট গোয়েন্দা অধিদপ্তরের পাঠানো এক বিজ্ঞপ্তিতে এ তথ্য জানানো হয়েছে।

প্রতিষ্ঠান তিনটি হলো, গাজীপুরের কালিয়াকৈরে অবস্থিত সোয়ান ইন্ডাস্ট্রিজ লিমিটেড (ফোম), সোয়ান কেমিক্যালস লিমিটেড ও ঢাকার তেজগাঁও শিল্প এলাকায় অবস্থিত সোন ইন্ডাস্ট্রিজ লিমিটেড (ম্যাট্রেস)।এরা মূলত ফোম, ম্যাট্রেস, কেমিক্যালস ও সংশ্লিষ্ট অন্যান্য পণ্য উৎপাদন ও সরবরাহ করে থাকে।

নাম প্রকাশে অনিচ্ছুক একজন ব্যক্তি এসব প্রতিষ্ঠানের বিরুদ্ধে ভ্যাট গোয়েন্দা অধিদপ্তরে অভিযোগ করেন।সেখানে বলা হয়, প্রতিষ্ঠানগুলো প্রকৃত সেবা বিক্রি গোপন করে চালান ছাড়া সেবা সরবরাহের মাধ্যমে দীর্ঘদিন ধরে বিপুল পরিমাণ ভ্যাট ফাঁকি দিয়ে আসছে।

এই অভিযোগের পরিপ্রেক্ষিতে উপপরিচালক মোহাম্মদ সাজেদুল হকের নেতৃত্বে গত ২৩ নভেম্বর গুলশানে সোয়ান গ্রুপের প্রধান কার্যালয়ে অভিযান চালায় ভ্যাট গোয়েন্দাদের একটি দল। অভিযানে প্রতিষ্ঠানটি মাসিক দাখিলপত্রে প্রকৃত বিক্রয় তথ্য গোপন করে ভ্যাট ফাঁকি দিয়েছে বলে প্রমাণ মেলে।

অভিযানের শুরুতে সোয়ার গ্রুপের ভ্যাট সংক্রান্ত ও বাণিজ্যিক বিভিন্ন দলিল প্রদর্শনের জন্য অনুরোধ করেন ভ্যাট গোয়েন্দারা। এরপর বিভিন্ন স্থানে তল্লাশি চালিয়ে ও প্রতিষ্ঠানের কম্পিউটারে থাকা তথ্য যাচাই করে সেবা বিক্রি সংক্রান্ত বিভিন্ন গোপনীয় বাণিজ্যিক দলিল উদ্ধার করা হয়। যেগুলো ব্যাপক অসামঞ্জস্যপূর্ণ ছিল।

সমস্ত তথ্য যাচাই করে দেখা যায়, তিনটি প্রতিষ্ঠানের মাধ্যমে প্রায় ৩৬ কোটি ৬৯ লাখ টাকার ভ্যাট ফাঁকি দেয়া হয়েছে। পরে প্রতিষ্ঠানগুলোর বিরুদ্ধে ভ্যাট আইনে আলাদা তিনটি মামলা দায়ের করা হয়।

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One-third VAT to be collected through electronic fiscal devices

 FE REPORT | Published:  January 06, 2022 10:50:40 | Updated:  January 06, 2022 14:13:22


The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has set a target to collect one-third of value-added tax (VAT) through proper implementation of the programme to install electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) in the retail outlets, its chief has said.

In a programme on EFD lottery, NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said that the revenue authority is holding the lottery every month to encourage consumers to take EFD-generated invoices, but most of the winners of the lottery are not coming to receive the prizes.

The NBR has installed some 3,500 EFDs in Dhaka and Chattogram.

Mr Muneem said the NBR would assign private companies to popularise the EFD programme.

He said the NBR has introduced a VAT inclusive price system to resolve the confusion of the consumers over the payment of VAT.

According to the NBR data, there are some 323,000 Businesses Identification Number (BIN) holders in Bangladesh.

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Bangladesh govt's tax collection rises 14.22pc in July-Dec period

 DOULOT AKTER MALA | Published:  January 10, 2022 09:00:36 | Updated:  January 10, 2022 10:18:57

Tax-revenue collection grew 14.22 per cent, year on year, in the first six months of the current fiscal year but the amount stood Tk 170.81 billion short of the half-yearly target.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) achieved 88.08 per cent of its target or Tk 1.26 trillion in the July-December period of the current FY thanks to hefty growth in import-stage revenues to compensate for a bit subdued economic activity in recovery stage.

Hike in global commodity prices -- in economic fallout from production and supply-chain disruptions by the coronavirus pandemic -- helped the government revenue collector like a blessing in disguise in collecting higher taxes from imports.

Board's customs wing achieved 19.50-per cent growth over the corresponding period last year followed by income tax 15 per cent.

Final data of VAT or value-added tax collection would be available after 20th of January when businesses will submit their VAT returns.

In the provisional data, the VAT wing achieved 9.54 per cent growth that would go up by end of the month.

However, the volume of VAT collection is higher than that of other two wings as usual in H1.

The NBR collected Tk 465.85 billion VAT, Tk 394.21 billion income tax and Tk 402.02 billion import and export duty in the July-December period.

However, the customs wing faced a Tk 70.95-billion shortfall against its target followed by the VAT wing Tk 58.94 billion and income tax Tk 40.91 billion.

The government has set a Tk 3.30-trillion target for the NBR for the current FY. For the first half of the tax year, the revenue target was Tk 1.43 trillion.

According to data of the research and statistics wing of the NBR, average revenue-collection growth was above 14 per cent.

Dr Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute (PRI), finds the 14-per cent growth a normal or ordinary in respect to growth in import and overall economic rebound.

He says the trend shows that revenue collection may not reach Tk 3.0 trillion by the yearend.

"Overhauling direct-tax structure is required to achieve 25 to 30- per cent tax-collection growth," he suggests.

He thinks automated system can ensure transparency in tax system and reduce underhand dealings for tax evasion.

The NBR achieved 7.39-per cent and 6.39-per cent growth in revenue collection in corresponding period last two years respectively.

A senior tax official, preferring anonymity, said tax collection would go up this year compared to last FY's as financial health of large corporate houses is impressive.

He said accounting transparency would be ensured this year too as the taxmen would accept only Document Verification System (DVS)-verified financial reports of the corporate taxpayers as per a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Institute of Charted Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).

The tax official mentioned that last year the black money- whitening scheme contributed a significant amount of direct taxes to the public exchequer, which may not come this year.

He, however, hopes upward adjustment in source tax would generate a significant amount of revenue if it is monitored by the taxmen properly.

The tax official noted that many of the corporate taxpayers refrained from depositing the source taxes that they deducted from the taxpayers.

"There is a misconception over automatic collection of source taxes without any effort of tax officials, which is completely wrong and discouraging for us," he says.

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Corporate tax payment couldn't impress revenue board

 DOULOT AKTER MALA | Published:  January 15, 2022 08:51:41 | Updated:  January 15, 2022 15:52:04


The revenue board finds the banks and large companies a bit tight-fisted in paying into public exchequer as corporate-tax collection from the latter grew 7.5 per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

Officials take exception to below-par tax status of banks despite having made impressive profit by most of them in 2021.

However, corporate taxpayers said they paid advance tax on the basis of profits of the previous year as per income-tax ordinance and actual tax collection would go up in the next six months of the fiscal year 2021-22.

Although the overall direct tax collection grew 15 per cent, the receipts from the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) remained below expectation in H1, taxmen said.

The LTU under the income-tax wing of the revenue board lags behind the target by Tk 20 billion for the July-December period of the current FY, according to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) data.

It collected Tk 93 billion in taxes against its target of Tk 112 billion for the first half of the tax year.

Tax officials feel the pace of corporate-tax collection has to be geared up in the remaining six months following impressive performances manifest in the profit growth of banks.

Taxmen observe that corporate tax collection experiences ups and downs every alternate year following income of the large taxpayers.

Talking to the FE, Md Iqbal Hossain, commissioner of the LTU under the income-tax wing, said the collection of corporate tax would go up in the next half of the FY as the unit has taken a number of steps to raise collection.

He said the unit ensured taxpayer-friendly environment and achieved an impressive growth without taking any of the punitive actions.

"We achieved 15-per cent growth last FY without imposing penalty or attaching bank accounts or any of the penal actions against large taxpayers," he says.

A number of factors helped the unit achieve higher growth last fiscal year, including collection of arrears, leftover taxes of previous years, and money-whitening scheme, which are not available this fiscal year.

The LTU collected Tk 11 billion in tax arrears last FY against Tk 6.0 billion in the previous fiscal year. Also, a total of Tk 12 billion leftover taxes of the previous fiscal year added with the last FY's collection.

Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of BRAC Bank Ltd M Masud Rana said corporate-tax collection from banks might go up by 20 to 25 per cent by the end of this fiscal year following growth in profits of banks in 2021 over the previous year.

He suggests proper enforcement of law to ensure a 'corporate tax culture' in Bangladesh.

Mr Rana, however, appreciates LTU's performances compared to that of other tax offices across the country in dealing with taxpayers.

Talking to the FE, the LTU commissioner shared some strategies to address the revenue-collection challenges this year, including monitoring advance tax collection through holding meetings with large banks, intensifying collection of arrear taxes, monitoring proper depositing of tax deducted at source, resolving pending court cases that blocked around Tk 50 billion.

The LTU collected taxes worth Tk 240.11 billion last FY, mostly from the banking sector.

The actual collection of LTU in FY 2019-20 was Tk 208.38 billion. However, the Unit missed its targets for FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20.

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Import tax revenue up on the back of higher rate

Taxmen favour conservative approach

 DOULOT AKTER MALA |  January 26, 2022 00:00:00


The country's tax collection at import stage marks impressive growth as taxmen have been taking a conservative approach as far as rationalisation of tariff is concerned.

Import duty rate is one of the highest in Bangladesh, 25 per cent, among top five countries, which experts find as a negative factor for a developing country.

As a World Trade Organisation (WTO) member, Bangladesh will have to bring down its average import tariff for the sake of trade liberalisation.

Data available with the National Board of Revenue shows revenue collection at import stage has grown by 76.12 per cent in the past five years (2016-17 to 2020-21).

However, the volume of income tax receipts was higher than customs revenue as almost 60 per cent taxes come at import stage in the form of advance income tax (AIT).

Policy Research Institute chairman Dr Zaidi Sattar says total tax incidence (TTI) at import stage stands at 51 per cent on average in Bangladesh.

It is among one of the top five countries having higher import taxes, he adds.

"Reliance on trade tax should not be more than 30 to 33 per cent. It could be around 27 per cent in case of reliance on customs duty and supplementary duty."

Dr Sattar says the country has to shift its dependence on trade tax at import stage to domestic revenue mobilisation from VAT and income tax.

The local market is more profitable for traders because of higher tariff protection. This is also discouraging them from venturing into export, he adds.

Officials listed the surge in commodity imports, hike in their international prices, increased freight charges, efforts to check trade-based tax evasion and automation as factors that propelled the higher growth of customs revenue.

Import of goods grew by 20 per cent in fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 despite the pandemic.

In the first half (H1) of this fiscal, the revenue collection at import stage grew by 19.50 per cent.

In the first quarter, customs revenue grew by 21 per cent than that of the corresponding period last year.

However, the aggregate revenue collection growth in the past six months has been between 14 and 16 per cent.

Chattogram Customs House (CCH), the main entry point of goods, posted 32.42-per cent growth in revenue receipts year on year in December 2021 while it achieved 26-per cent growth in H1.

CCH commissioner Md Fakhrul Alam said efficiency of customs monitoring team and enforcement of law helped check evasion at import stage.

Importers have to count up to 200-per cent penalty in case of detection of irregularities. Such high penalty has reduced around 80 per cent of irregularities and cases also declined by 50 per cent, he added.

Post-clearance audit, advance ruling, intrusive inspection and e-payment have also started paying off.

Prices of major revenue-earners like fuel oil, bitumen, motor vehicle, electrical and electronic items, lime and cement products, iron and steel, plastic products, sugar, nuclear stove, boiler, machinery, fruits and nuts have gone up globally.

This global price impact and the high cost of imported commodities have contributed to higher customs duties, although the government refrains from upward adjustment of import-stage taxes considering Covid-19.

Petroleum products are one of the major revenue contributing importables that saw a price hike in the international market.

The import cost of petroleum products reached $1.04 billion during the July-August period, up 71 per cent year on year.

A senior customs official says scope for tax evasion has decreased significantly in recent years, thanks to the monitoring of the value-declaration process.

Checking tax evasion at entry point is easier compared to that of detecting direct tax evasion as those are scattered in many placed, he adds.

Former customs member Syed Golam Kibria suggests that Bangladesh cuts tax at import stage as a WTO member.

Still, the country maintains a conservative approach to reducing import-stage taxes, fearing revenue loss.

"A liberalised fiscal policy is required to facilitate local industries get access to the international market," Mr Kibria says.

Local manufacturers are enjoying fiscal protection that is supposed to phase out after a certain time.

Such protection makes the local market more profitable for them compared to that of exporting those to other countries, he concludes.

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