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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/revenue-collection-target-be-set-tk433-trln-budget-next-fiscal-429902

UNB

30 May, 2022, 08:20 pm

Last modified: 30 May, 2022, 09:56 pm

Revenue collection target to be set at Tk4.33 trln in budget for next fiscal

The upcoming budget is set to have a Tk4.33 trillion revenue target that is Tk44,000 crore higher than the target in the current fiscal budget

 

The government is to set an ambitious revenue collection target of Tk4.33 trillion for the national budget of fiscal year (FY) 2022-23, comfortably the highest ever, although meeting this target has never been the point.

Bangladesh's national budget is set to be placed in parliament on 9 June 2022 for the next fiscal, 2022-23.

The size of the national budget is to be set at Tk6.77 trillion (Tk6,77,864 crore) which is 15.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP), sources at the finance ministry said.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR), a wing of the Internal Resources Division (IRD), usually collects revenue for the government.

The upcoming budget is set to have a Tk4.33 trillion revenue target that is Tk44,000 crore higher than the target in the budget for the current fiscal and 9.8% of the GDP.

That target has of course not been met – it never has been in the era of the expansionary budgets adopted by ex-finance minister, late AMA Muhith.

But that hasn't stopped them from expanding.

It goes to show Muhith's legacy is still very much alive in the country's governance. 

Given the very low tax-GDP ratio, it is better to aim high and miss, than aim low, has been the driving philosophy to the approach.
Though the government is raising the revenue collection target for NBR, the margin of the missed targets of the revenue board has been widening over the last several fiscal years.

Lack of technical know-how of officials, friendly revenue collection approach and backdated technology are obstacles for the revenue board.

As per the calculation, the budget deficit would stand at Tk2.44 trillion that is 5.5% of GDP.

According to finance ministry sources, the government would borrow Tk1,28,341 crore from the domestic sources and Tk1,16,523 crore will be borrowed from abroad to meet the budget deficit, in the proposed budget.
Of the domestic borrowing, Tk93,889 crore would be borrowed from the banking system while Tk34,452 crore from savings certificates.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/bangla/অর্থনীতি/news-details-95594

রিয়াদ হোসেন

31 May, 2022, 12:35 pm

Last modified: 31 May, 2022, 12:55 pm

টিআইএন আছে, রিটার্ন দেননি? আগামী অর্থবছরে রিটার্ন দিলে জরিমানা লাগবে না

এর ফলে প্রায় ৫০ লাখ টিআইএনধারীর জন্য জরিমানা না দিয়ে হয়রানিমুক্তভাবে আয়ের হিসাব দিয়ে কর দেওয়ার সুযোগ তৈরি হতে যাচ্ছে।

 

ট্যাক্স আইডেন্টিফিকেশন নম্বর (ই-টিআইএন) রয়েছে কিন্তু আয়কর রিটার্ন জমা দেন না, এমন ব্যক্তিদের আয়করের আওতায় আনতে জরিমানা মাফ করতে যাচ্ছে সরকার। অর্থাৎ আগে যারা রিটার্ন জমা দেন নি, আগামী ২০২২-২৩ অর্থবছরে তারা রিটার্ন জমা দিলে অতীতের বছরগুলোর জন্য কোন ধরণের জরিমানা দিতে হবে না। এর ফলে প্রায় ৫০ লাখ টিআইএনধারীর জন্য জরিমানা না দিয়ে হয়রানিমুক্তভাবে ট্যাক্স অথরিটির কাছে তাদের আয়ের হিসাব দিয়ে কর দেওয়ার সুযোগ তৈরি হতে যাচ্ছে। সংশ্লিষ্ট সূত্র জানিয়েছে, আগামী বাজেটে এ ধরণের প্রস্তাব তৈরি করেছে জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ড (এনবিআর), যা ৯ জুন অর্থমন্ত্রী ঘোষণা দিতে পারেন।

এমন প্রস্তাব আসলে ইতিবাচক হবে বলে মনে করছেন বিশেষজ্ঞরা। তারা বলছেন, টিআইএন নিলেও হয়রানি ও জরিমানার ভয়ে অনেকে পরবর্তীতে রিটার্ন দিতে আগ্রহী হন না। এনবিআর তাদেরকে জরিমানা মওকুফের মাধ্যমে সুযোগ দিলে তা সময়োপযোগী প্রস্তাব হবে। এতে রাজস্ব আয় বাড়ার পাশাপাশি দেশের আর্থিক খাতে শৃঙ্খলা তৈরির সুযোগ তৈরি হবে।

দেশে বর্তমানে ই-টিআইএনধারীর সংখ্যা ৭৫ লাখের উপরে, যার দুই-তৃতীয়াংশই আয়কর রিটার্ন জমা দেয় না। সর্বশেষ ২০২১-২২ ট্যাক্স ইয়ারে রিটার্ন জমা হয়েছিলো ২৫ লাখের কিছু বেশি। ব্যক্তি হিসেবে, যাদের বছরে আয় আড়াই লাখ টাকার উপরে, কিছু ব্যতিক্রম বাদে তাদের টিআইএন নেওয়া ও প্রতি বছর আয়ের হিসাব তথা ইনকাম ট্যাক্স রিটার্ন জমা দেওয়া বাধ্যতামূলক। এছাড়া ৩৭ ধরণের সেবা নেওয়ার ক্ষেত্রে ই-টিআইএন বাধ্যতামূলক করা হয়েছে, তিনটি খাত বাদে, যাদের রিটার্ন জমা দেওয়ার শর্ত রয়েছে। 

এনবিআরের আয়কর বিভাগের সংশ্লিষ্ট সূত্র জানিয়েছে, টিআইএনধারীদের মধ্যে ২৬ লাখের কোন হদিসই পাওয়া যাচ্ছে না, যা 'ফাইল্ড কেইস' হিসেবে রাখা হয়েছে। এর অর্থ হলো, এসব টিআইএন বাতিল করা হচ্ছে না, কিন্তু স্থগিত আছে। ভবিষ্যতে কোন ধরণের সেবা নেওয়ার ক্ষেত্রে (যা আয়কর বিভাগের সঙ্গে ইন্টিগ্রেটেড আছে বা থাকবে) তাদেরকে ট্রেস করা সম্ভব হবে।

দুই বছর আগে পর্যন্ত কেবল যাদের করযোগ্য আয় ছিলো, টিআইএনধারীদের মধ্যে কেবল তাদেরই রিটার্ন জমা দেওয়ার বাধ্যবাধকতা ছিলো। তবে গত দুই অর্থবছর আগে প্রায় সব টিআইএনধারীর রিটার্ন জমা দেওয়া বাধ্যতামূলক করা হয়। তা সত্ত্বেও রিটার্ন জমা প্রত্যাশিতহারে বাড়ছে না।

ব্যক্তি করদাতা ছাড়াও দেশে রেজিস্ট্রার অব জয়েন্ট স্টক কোম্পানিজ এন্ড ফার্মস (আরজেএসসি)-তে প্রায় পৌনে দুই লাখ রেজিস্টার্ড কোম্পানি রয়েছে, যার মধ্যে রিটার্ন জমা দেয় ৩০ হাজারের কম সংখ্যক কোম্পানি।

অর্থ মন্ত্রণালয় ও এনবিআরের বাজেট সংশ্লিষ্ট সূত্র জানিয়েছে, যেসব ব্যক্তি টিআইএনধারী কখনোই রিটার্ন জমা দেননি কিংবা অতীতে দুয়েক বছর রিটার্ন জমা দিলেও বেশ কয়েক বছর ধরে আর রিটার্ন জমা দিচ্ছেন না, আগামী এক বছর রিটার্ন জমা দিলে তাদের উপর অতীতের কোন জরিমানা চাওয়া হবে না। 

গত অর্থবছরের বাজেট প্রণয়নের সাথে সংশ্লিষ্ট এনবিআরের সাবেক সদস্য মোঃ আলমগীর হোসেন দ্য বিজনেস স্ট্যান্ডার্ডকে বলেন, 'এ ধরণের প্রস্তাব আনা হলে তা খুবই ইতিবাচক হবে করদাতা এবং কর বিভাগের জন্যও। বেশকিছু খাতে টিআইএন নেওয়া বাধ্যতামূলক করা হয়েছে। কিন্তু রিটার্ন আসছে না। যদি রিটার্নই না আসবে, তাহলে টিআইএন নিয়ে লাভ কী? এজন্য মাঠ পর্যায়ের অফিসগুলো থেকে এক বছরের জন্য জরিমানা মওকুফের প্রস্তাব এসেছিলো।'

'যদি এক বছরের জন্য জরিমানায় অ্যামনেস্টি দিয়ে তাদেরকে রিটার্ন তথা করের আওতায় আনা যায়, তাহলে তাদের সম্পদ বিবরণী এনবিআরের কাছে রেকর্ড হয়ে যাবে। ফলে ট্যাক্স খাতে শৃঙ্খলা আনার সুযোগ তৈরি হবে।

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আরেকজন সাবেক এনবিআর সদস্য ড. সৈয়দ মোঃ আমিনুল করিম এ উদ্যোগ নেয়া হলে তা ইতিবাচক হবে উল্লেখ করে বলেন, 'আগে জরিমানা ও কর্মকর্তাদের হয়রানির ভয়ে মানুষ রিটার্ন দিতে আসতে চাইতেন না। কেননা রিটার্ন দিলেই ডিসিটি থেকে জয়েন্ট কমিশনার হয়ে উপরের স্তরে ওই ফাইল যেতেই থাকবে এবং করদাতাকে প্রশ্নের মুখে পড়তে হয়। এক বছরের জন্য জরিমানা বাতিল করা হলে, এ সুযোগ থাকবে না, ফলে করদাতা ও রাজস্ব বিভাগ– উভয়েই উপকৃত হবেন।'

জিডিপিতে করের অবদান বিবেচনায় বাংলাদেশ বিশ্বের অন্যতম পিছিয়ে থাকা একটি দেশ। দক্ষিণ এশিয়ার প্রায় সব দেশই ট্যাক্স টু জিডিপি রেশিওতে বাংলাদেশের উপরে অবস্থান করছে। ধীরে ধীরে এতে বাংলাদেশের অবনমন হচ্ছে। একসময় ট্যাক্স টু জিডিপি রেশিও ১০% থাকলেও সর্বশেষ ২০২০-২১ অর্থবছরের হিসাব অনুযায়ী, তা ৮ শতাংশের নিচে নেমে গেছে।

সাবেক অর্থমন্ত্রী আবুল মাল আবদুল মুহিত অর্থমন্ত্রী থাকাকালে বলেছিলেন, দেশে অন্তত দুই কোটি মানুষ কর দেওয়ার সামর্থ্য রাখে। অথচ ওই সময় রিটার্ন দাখিলকারীর সংখ্যা ছিল ১৭ লাখের মতো। 

আইনে কী আছে আর বাস্তবতা যা বলছে 

বিদ্যমান আয়কর অধ্যাদেশের ১২৪ ধারা অনুযায়ী, যুক্তিসঙ্গত কারণ ছাড়া কোনো ব্যক্তি নির্ধারিত সময়ের মধ্যে আয়কর রিটার্ন দাখিলে ব্যর্থ হলে আগের রিটার্ন এর অ্যাসেসমেন্টের ১০% বা এক হাজার টাকার মধ্যে যেটি বেশি, ওই পরিমাণ অর্থ এবং প্রতিদিনের জন্য ৫০ টাকা জরিমানা গুনতে হবে।  

যেসব টিআইএনধারী কখনোই রিটার্ন জমা দেননি, তাদের জরিমানা পাঁচ হাজার টাকার বেশি হবে না।

অবশ্য এ ক্ষেত্রে সর্বনিম্ন জরিমানা কী হবে, সে ক্ষমতা ডেপুটি কমিশনার অব ট্যাক্সেস (ডিসিটি)-এর হাতে দেওয়া হয়েছে।

আয়কর বিভাগের মাঠ পর্যায়ের কর্মকর্তাদের সঙ্গে কথা বলে জানা গেছে, আইনে জরিমানার কথা বলা থাকলেও সর্বনিম্ন কত হবে, সে বিষয়ে কিছু বলা নেই। ফলে মাঠ পর্যায়ের কর্মকর্তারা কখনো কখনো তাদের সুবিধামত সিদ্ধান্ত দেন, যাতে করদাতা নাখোশ হন, আবার একেবারে কম জরিমানা করলে কর অফিস থেকেও প্রশ্নের মুখে পড়তে হয়। এই ব্যবস্থায় অনিয়মেরও সুযোগ থেকে যায়।

এনবিআরের মাঠ পর্যায়ের একজন ডিসিটি নাম প্রকাশ না করার শর্তে টিবিএসকে বলেন, সাধারণত নতুন করে রিটার্ন জমা দেওয়া করদাতাদের ক্ষেত্রে ছাড় দেওয়া হয়।

সাবেক এনবিআর সদস্য আলমগীর হোসেনও বলেন, কম কর ধরা হলে আবার ওই কর্মকর্তাকে জবাবদিহি করতে হয় কোনো কোনো ক্ষেত্রে।     

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/business/2022/05/31/source-tax-on-export-may-double-in-upcoming-budget

Source tax on export may double in upcoming budget

Exporters feel raising source tax will put more pressure on the RMG sector

 

Meraj Mavis

May 31, 2022 6:45 PM

The government is again planning to double the source tax on export earnings. 

At present, source tax is being levied at the rate of 0.5% from the export income of all types of goods, which will expire on June 30.

Economists feel the idea of raising source tax on export is one of the plans of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) or the government to increase revenue.

Regarding the matter, exporters said that raising the source tax would put more pressure on the RMG sector and at the same time, on remittances.

More than 80% of Bangladesh's export income comes from the readymade garment sector alone. Accordingly, entrepreneurs in this sector become the most vocal against attempts to hike the source tax on exports. 

“This is not the right time to raise source tax. The effect of Covid-19 didn’t wear off yet. Besides, a kind of recession has started in the world and sales outlets are closing in many places. 

“Production costs have increased, the cost of transporting other goods including ship freight has also increased. There is also the possibility of raising gas prices soon as well and now on top of that raising source tax on export will create huge pressure on the readymade garment industry. There will be a crisis in the management of the organizations,” said Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of BGMEA. 

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (July-April), the export revenue was $43.34 billion. EPB is expecting that by the end of FY22, the total export earnings will touch $51 billion. 

In 10 months, the export income has increased by more than 35%. The NBR expects that around Tk250 crore will come from taxes on the source of export earnings in the current fiscal year. 

However, in the next financial year, the export sector is not likely to grow much. The finance department estimates that export earnings could grow by 20% in FY23.

Renowned economist Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue, thinks that the NBR, out of its revenue mobilization compulsion, is choosing to raise income tax at the source as it is the most efficient tax collection tool. 

He, however, said: “We hear about problems which transpire during the final tax adjustment of the amount deducted at source. This process should be made more transparent based on documentation and has to be specific to the performance of the taxed entity.”

He pointed out that the tax rate should be applied to all exporters equally, and that no discrimination should be made between RMG and non-RMG exporters. 

The noted economist and public policy analyst also suggested that if the export-oriented sectors, including the RMG, feel that they need additional policy support to retain their competitiveness, they should approach other relevant agencies including the Ministry of Commerce, not necessarily the NBR. 

“Like earlier, the proposed increase in advance income tax on export revenue may be an opening gambit for the NBR. This rate may get negotiated downward – keeping it above the current rate – through discussions,” he said.

The government imposed the source tax on exports for the first time in 2005. Initially, the rate was 0.25%. Later, it was raised at different times and was set at 1% in fiscal 2014-15.

For the last two years, the government has been levying a 0.5% source tax on export earnings considering the pandemic situation.

Though source tax is equal for all export-oriented sectors, non-RMG sectors have to pay taxes at a rate almost 2.5 times as high as that applicable for the RMG sector.

The Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) has already urged the government to continue 0.5% tax deducted at sources, widely known as source tax, on exports for at least five years in a bid to keep up Bangladesh's export competitiveness amid the ongoing crises – soaring production costs, falling rates of taka against the dollar and surging freight charges.

EAB President Abdus Salam Murshedy recently submitted the proposals to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) seeking its attention in formulating the national budget for the upcoming FY23.

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/business/2022/05/31/telecom-operators-demand-withdrawing-2-turnover-tax

Telecom operators demand withdrawing 2% turnover tax

Also wants waiver on SIM card tax

Tribune Desk

May 31, 2022 6:31 PM

The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (Amtob) wants the government to withdraw the provision of 2% turnover-tax on its member operators.

According to the organization, the provision contradicts the income tax principles, as taxes are collected on profit of an organization and not on turnover, for it results in capital erosion in paying turnover taxes despite incurring loss.

The association also wants the National Revenue Board (NBR) to abolish the provision of slapping Tk200 in taxes on each SIM card, to make telecom services accessible and affordable, especially for the people in the rural areas who are yet to get connected.

Despite rapid increase in subscribers, almost half of the country’s population is yet to get connected with mobile phone networks, Brig Gen SM Farhad (retd), secretary general of Amtob said.

He said this during a pre-budget discussion with NBR held earlier this year and urged the withdrawal of 2% tax on turnover on the telecom operators of the country.

Farhad also pointed out that in the last few years, the revenue of the telecom sector was 1% of the country’s total gross domestic products (GDP) and the sector’s tax payments contributed to 4% of the NBR’s total revenue collections

So, the contribution of the sector to tax-revenue is four times greater than its size, with the sector’s overall contribution to GDP is 7%. To expedite further GDP growth from the sector the government needs to reduce taxes through tax reforms to ensure digital inclusion, Farhad also said.

Mobile airtime has to pay 33.25% duty, which is of prepaid nature. Therefore, customers who purchase various digital non-telecom services using a prepaid airtime balance have to pay an additional 16% (SD 15% and SC1%).

VAT law allows only 15% VAT adjustment.

According to the association, if the proposals are implemented the mobile phone subscribers of the country will benefit and investors would also feel encouraged to make further investments based on the reduced tax rates.

Amtob also proposed to the NBR for reducing corporate taxes from both listed and non-listed telecom operators.

Corporate tax on the listed telecom operators should be reduced to 25 % from 40% and on the non-listed companies to 32 % from 45%, the association suggested.

It also argued that the applicable taxes from the telecom should be reduced to a rational level as the telecom sector contributes to local and international trade, education and services.

Additionally, Amtob urged NBR to make the country’s agreements on double taxation with 33 other countries functional by implementing the Dual Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and rationalize non-residents under section 57.

Despite the country’s agreements with the countries, the people who do not have any office in the country are required to take a non-deduction certificate from NBR.

Under clause 56 of the income tax act, the taxpayers have to pay taxes at the rate of 30% and the rate is significantly high, said Amtob.

Referring to the VAT exemption on 2G and 3G services according to a notification from the BTRC, Farhad sought a similar facility for 4G services.

He also pointed out that under the Income Tax Act of Bangladesh, payments made for the purpose of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are not considered as allowable expenditure.

However, there is a list of 22 areas where taxpayers are eligible for a 10 % discount on CSR activities, and Amtob requested to include the relevant section for considering this expenditure as allowable expenditure.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/tax-free-forex-earning-flag-vessels-cards-430778

Jasim Uddin

01 June, 2022, 10:00 am

Last modified: 01 June, 2022, 10:05 am

Tax-free forex earning for flag vessels on cards

Currently, local oceangoing flagged ships have to pay 10% tax on their income

 

The government has decided to give tax exemption on foreign currency income by Bangladeshi flagged oceangoing ships from the upcoming fiscal year in a bid to earn $3 billion to $4 billion a year, according to finance ministry officials.

Currently, these local ships have to pay 10% tax on their incomes.

Ministry officials said the facility will continue till 2030 if the vessels' foreign exchange income is brought into the country through banking channels.

Experts and industry insiders lauded the government decision, saying it will be a milestone towards establishing the shipping industry as a service exporting sector with huge foreign currency earnings for the country.

"This will be a timely move to encourage investment in the oceangoing shipping industry, which is a very potential sector," Professor Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), told The Business Standard.

The government has taken initiatives to incentivize industries with earning potential in recent years, he added.

He also said this is the right time to invest in the shipping industry, as the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a massive surge in freight charges.

Meanwhile, industry insiders said the initiative has been a long time coming.

"We are absolutely delighted. It has been a long-standing demand and a most necessary step for this industry", said Shahriar Jahan Rahat, deputy managing director of KSRM Group, the largest oceangoing fleet owner in the country.

"We expect the move to boost the [shipping] industry and increase the inflow of foreign remittance through this sector", he added.

According to the Mercantile Marine Department, Bangladesh currently has a fleet of 81 ocean-going vessels, with KSRM Group alone owning 23 oceangoing bulk carriers.

Besides, Meghna Group of Industries owns 16 vessels, Akij Group has 10, the state-run Bangladesh Shipping Corporations owns 8, Karnaphuli Group owns 6, and Bashundhara Group and BSA Group each own 5 vessels.

The sector has an investment of $2 billion, according to sources.

Bangladeshi businesses have to spend over $9 billion as freight charges for export and import, but local oceangoing vessels can tap into only 10-15% of it, which is less than $1 billion.

Industry leaders have urged local entrepreneurs to invest in new vessels, noting that hiked freight costs have created a lucrative opportunity for the shipping sector's growth.

They said with new investment, it will be possible to earn about $3-4 billion in foreign currency every year.

In the last 10 years, export and import increased around two-and-a-half times but the number of Bangladeshi flag carrier vessels did not increase.

However, 2019 had been a different year from when things started to change.

According to the Department of Shipping, there are 4,565 Bangladeshi registered seamen and 1,887 of them are working at Bangladeshi and foreign vessels.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/bangla/অর্থনীতি/news-details-95738

রিয়াদ হোসেন

01 June, 2022, 01:50 pm

Last modified: 01 June, 2022, 02:19 pm

আনডিসপুটেড ট্যাক্স পরিশোধ না করলে বিচ্ছিন্ন করা হতে পারে ব্যবসার ইউটিলিটি পরিষেবা

ট্যাক্স অফিসারদের এমন ক্ষমতা দেওয়ার প্রস্তাব আসতে যাচ্ছে আগামী বাজেটে।

 

 

মামলা নেই কিংবা মামলায় ট্যাক্স অথরিটি জিতেছে, ব্যবসায়ীদের কাছে আটকে থাকা এমন আনডিসপুটেড ট্যাক্স আদায়ে কঠোর অবস্থান নেওয়ার কথা ভাবছে সরকার। এক্ষেত্রে সংশ্লিষ্ট ব্যবসা প্রতিষ্ঠানের গ্যাস, বিদ্যুৎ কিংবা পানির সংযোগের মত পরিষেবা বিচ্ছিন্ন করার জন্য ট্যাক্স অফিসারদের ক্ষমতা দেওয়ার কথা ভাবছে সরকার। 

আগামী ৯ জুন সংসদে বাজেট উপস্থাপনকালে এমন প্রস্তাব আসতে পারে। 

অর্থমন্ত্রণালয় ও জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ডের (এনবিআর) বাজেট সংশিষ্ট সূত্র জানিয়েছে, বর্তমানে আনডিসপুটেড ট্যাক্স আদায়ে ব্যবসা প্রতিষ্ঠানের সম্পদ স্থানান্তর এমনকি ব্যবসা প্রতিষ্ঠান বন্ধ করে দেওয়ার মত বিধান থাকলেও এর বাস্তবায়ন ও কার্যকারিতা তেমন নেই। 

এজন্য এধরনের ট্যাক্স আদায়ে এনবিআরের ডেপুটি কমিশনার অব ট্যাক্সেস (ডিসিটি) দের আলোচ্য ক্ষমতা দেওয়ার কথা ভাবছে এনবিআর। ডিসিটিরা এসব পরিষেবার সংযোগ বিচ্ছিন্ন করার জন্য সংশ্লিষ্ট কর্তৃপক্ষের সহায়তা নেবেন। 

তবে ব্যবসায়ীদের প্রতিনিধিরা মনে করছেন, বর্তমান বাস্তবতায় এমন প্রস্তাব যৌক্তিক হবে না। সারা পৃথিবীতেই বর্তমান কঠিন পরিস্থিতি মোকাবেলায় ব্যবসায়ীদের বিভিন্ন ধরনের কর ছাড় দেওয়া হচ্ছে। কিন্তু এখানে এমন উদ্যোগ নেওয়া হলে তা ব্যবসা ও বিনিয়োগের ক্ষেত্রে ভুল বার্তা যাবে। 

তবে রাজস্ব বিভাগ সংশ্লিষ্টরা মনে করছেন, অসাধু ব্যবসায়ীদের কাছ থেকে সরকারের নিরঙ্কুশ পাওনা আদায়ে কঠোর হওয়া ছাড়া রাজস্ব আদায় বাস্তবে সম্ভব হয় না। এজন্য এ ধরনের ক্ষমতা প্রয়োগ করে যদি রাজস্ব আদায় করা যায়, তা যৌক্তিক। 

যেসব ট্যাক্স নিয়ে এনবিআরের ট্যাক্স আপিলেট ট্রাইব্যুনালে মামলা আছে কিংবা হাইকোর্টে মামলা বা আপিল রয়েছে, ওইসব মামলায় জড়িত ট্যাক্স হলো ডিসপুটেড। আর যেসব মামলায় এনবিআর জিতেছে কিংবা এনবিআর অ্যাসেসির (মূল্যায়নকারী) কাছে দাবিনামা জারি করলেও তিনি তা ফেস করেন নি, সেক্ষেত্রে কিছু আনুষ্ঠানিকতা শেষে ওই ট্যাক্স আনডিসপুটেড হিসেবে গণ্য হয়। 

কিন্তু বছরের পর বছর ধরে ওই সব ট্যাক্স আদায় করা সম্ভব হচ্ছে না বলে ট্যাক্স বিভাগ সূত্র জানিয়েছে। 

এনবিআরের হিসাব অনুযায়ী, বর্তমানে আনডিসপেুটেড ট্যাক্স এর পরিমাণ ২ হাজার কোটি টাকার উপরে। বছরের পর বছর ধরে এসব অর্থ ঝুলে থাকলেও ফিল্ড লেভেল ট্যাক্স অফিসগুলো তা আদায় করতে পারছে না। 

এছাড়া রাজস্ব বিভাগের আপিলের ট্রাইব্যুনাল এবং হাইকোর্টে বিচারাধীন রয়েছে আরো ৩৪ হাজার কোটি টাকার রাজস্ব। 

আইনে কী আছে এবং বাস্তবে কী হচ্ছে

বিদ্যমান ১৯৮৪ সালের আয়কর অধ্যাদেশ এর ১৪২ ও ১৪৩ ধারায় নিরঙ্কুশ ট্যাক্স আদায়ের উপায় সম্পর্কে বলা আছে। আইনি বিধান অনুযায়ী, এসব ট্যাক্স আদায় করার জন্য ডিসি অফিসে সার্টিফিকেট মামলা করা যায়। 

সেক্ষেত্রে ডিসি অফিস থেকে কাউকে দায়িত্ব দেওয়া হয় ট্যাক্স আদায়ের জন্য। 

এছাড়া ১৪৩ ধারা অনুযায়ী, মূল্যায়নকারীকে শুনানির সুযোগ দেওয়ার পরেও কর শোধ না করলে এই জাতীয় মূল্যায়নকারীদের ব্যবসার সাথে সম্পর্কিত যেকোনো পণ্য ও পরিষেবার সরবরাহ বন্ধ করতে পারবেন করের ডেপুটি কমিশনার। কর শোধ করার আগ পর্যন্ত বা শোধের কোনো সন্তোষজনক ব্যবস্থা করার আগ পর্যন্ত পরিষেবা বন্ধ রাখতে পারবেন তিনি।

এছাড়া প্রতিষ্ঠানের ব্যাংক হিসাব ফ্রিজ করার জন্যও ব্যাংকগুলোকে চিঠি দিতে পারেন করের ডেপুটি কমিশনার। 

তবে আয়কর বিভাগের মাঠ পযায়ের অফিসগুলোতে কথা বলে জানা গেছে, আলোচ্য পদ্ধতিগুলোর মধ্যে ব্যাংক অ্যাকাউন্ট অ্যাটাচমেন্ট ছাড়া অন্যান্য পদ্ধতি বাস্তবে প্রয়োগ হয় না কিংবা তা কার্যকরও নয়। 

রাজধানীর একটি ট্যাক্স জোনের একজন ডিসিটি নাম প্রকাশ না করার অনুরোধ জানিয়ে দ্য বিজনেস স্ট্যান্ডার্ডকে বলেন, তিনি কখনো ব্যবসা প্রতিষ্ঠান বন্ধ করার কথা শোনেন নি। তবে কখনো কখনো তারা ব্যাংক হিসাব জব্দ করেন। এছাড়া ডিসি অফিসের মাধ্যমে সার্টিফিকেট মামলা করেও খুব একটা কাজ হয় না। 

তিনি বলেন, "আমার জোনে প্রায় ৪০০ কোটি টাকা আনডিসপুটেড ট্যাক্স রয়েছে। আমরা ব্যাংক অ্যাটাচমেন্টের বাইরে অন্যান্য পদক্ষেপ সাধারণত নেই না।" 

গত অর্থবছরের বাজেট প্রণয়নে নিয়োজিত সাবেক এনবিআর সদস্য মো. আলমগীর হোসেন টিবিএসকে বলেন, কখনো অ্যাসেসি বেপরোয়া হলো কিংবা কোন নোটিশের জবাব না দিলে, নোটিশ ঠিকমতো সার্ভ না হলে, অ্যাসেসির ঠিকানা পরিবর্তন হলে কিংবা বিদেশে থাকলে তিনি ট্যাক্স অফিস থেকে পাঠানো নোটিশের জবাব দিতে পারেন না। 

সেক্ষেত্রে কিছু আইনি নিয়ম মেনে ওই ট্যাক্স আনডিসপুটেড হয়ে যায়। আবার মামলা করার পর অ্যাসেসি মামলা ফেস করলেন, কিন্তু হেরে গেলেও তা অবিতর্কিত হয়। 

বর্তমানে ব্যাংক অ্যাকাউন্ট অ্যাটাচমেন্ট ছাড়া অন্যান্য পদ্ধতিগুলো তেমন কার্যকর নয়। 

সংশ্লিষ্টরা যা বলছেন 

ফেডারেশন অব বাংলাদেশ চেম্বার্স অব কমার্স অ্যান্ড ইন্ডাস্ট্রির (এফবিসিসিআই) উপদেষ্টা এবং বাণিজ্য আইন বিশেষজ্ঞ মনজুর আহমেদ টিবিএসকে বলেন, "বর্তমান বিশ্ব প্রেক্ষাপটে সারা দুনিয়া কর কমানো কিংবা মওকুফ করার মত সিদ্ধান্ত নিচ্ছে। এই অবস্থায় ব্যবসা প্রতিষ্ঠানে তালা লাগিয়ে কর আদায় চাওয়া যৌক্তিক সিদ্ধান্ত হবে না।"

সাবেক এনবিআর সদস্য ডক্টর সৈয়দ মো. আমিনুল করিম টিবিএসকে বলেন, "খারাপ ব্যবসায়ীদের কাছ থেকে সরকারের পাওনা আদায়ে এমন প্রস্তাব আসলে তা অযৌক্তিক হবে না। কেননা নিরঙ্কুশ পাওনা আদায়ে কঠোর হওয়া ছাড়া উপায় নেই।" 

অবশ্য সাবেক সদস্য মো. আলমগীর হোসেন মনে করেন, গ্যাস, পানি কিংবা বিদ্যুৎ সংযোগ বিচ্ছিন্ন করার কার্যক্রমটি বাস্তবায়নে কিছু চ্যালেঞ্জও দেখা দিতে পারে। কেননা সংশ্লিষ্ট প্রতিষ্ঠানগুলো কতটা সহায়তা করবে, তা দেখার বিষয়। 

তিনি বলেন, "এই পদক্ষেপ বাস্তবায়নে ব্যাংক অ্যাটাচমেন্ট এর মত অপব্যবহার হওয়ার আশঙ্কাও থাকতে পারে। আবার যে মামলাটি আনডিসপুটেড বলে পরিষেবার সংযোগ বিচ্ছিন্ন করা হবে, পরবর্তীতে অ্যাসেসি যদি মামলা লড়েন কিংবা আইনি পন্থায় যান, তখন তো তা আবার ডিসপুটেড হয়ে যাবে। সেসময় ওই বিচ্ছিন্ন লাইন সংযোগের কী হবে?"

বিশ্বব্যাপী যখন অর্থনৈতিক পরিস্থিতির টালমাটাল অবস্থা, তখন এমন প্রস্তাব দেওয়া ঠিক হবে কিনা, সে প্রশ্ন তোলেন তিনি। 

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/stringent-measures-coming-make-all-tin-holders-file-returns-431374

Jasim Uddin & Reyad Hossain

01 June, 2022, 10:50 pm

Last modified: 01 June, 2022, 11:03 pm

Stringent measures coming to make all TIN holders file returns

 

The government is going to increase the tax burden on businesses that do not file tax returns despite having tax identification numbers (TINs) in a bid to bring accountability among taxpayers and thus boost revenue collection.

Currently, contractors and suppliers are required to pay 50% additional tax at source in the purchases and sales of goods and services if they do not have a TIN. From next year, they will have to submit tax returns against such purchases and sales, otherwise, they will have to pay 50% additional money on their total source tax, said Finance Ministry sources involved in preparing the budget.

Businesses that were so far required to show TINs will have to show proof of return submissions from next year, or else, they will have to pay a fine ranging from Tk5,000 to Tk20,000.

In addition, if any service provider or contractor fails to prove its return submission, it will have to pay a fine of up to Tk10 lakh. On the other hand, the buyer of the services or goods will pay a fine of up to Tk50 lakh if they do not cooperate with the deputy commissioner of taxes by providing all required documents and giving them access to their servers to verify the deduction of source tax.

The move comes against the backdrop that even though the government has provided tax identification numbers (TINs) to a large number of people over the last few years to expand the tax net, two-thirds of the TIN holders are refraining from filing tax returns.

Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, president of the Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI), however, thinks people do not feel encouraged to file tax returns as various tax rules are not taxpayer-friendly. 

TIN holders would be encouraged to file tax returns only if a conducive atmosphere is created, he told The Business Standard, adding that causing fear will not help to serve the purpose.

As per the Income Tax Ordinance 1984, the submission of income tax returns is mandatory for all TIN holders.
The new budget is going to make a provision for exempting all MPO-listed schools except those running English version curriculum, public universities, recognised provident funds, pension funds, approved gratuity funds, approved superannuation funds, work profit participant funds, and taxpayers without any fixed income from the obligation of income tax return submission.

Scope to widen for small taxpayers, narrow for biggies    

If a person earns less than Tk15 lakh and invests 25% of it, they currently enjoy a 15% tax waiver on the investment. If the income is more than Tk15 lakh, the 25% investment qualifies for a 10% waiver.       

The proposed budget lowers the investment threshold to 20% and unifies the special treatment to 15%. This means small taxpayers will get more investment benefits, while it will be paltry for the biggies.   

Currently the special treatments – tax waiver or tax discount – are only applicable for timely return submissions. In the next budget, the discount is slashed to 7.5% for taxpayers who would miss the submission deadline.          

The proposed budget also cancels tax waiver or discounts if the income of the taxpayer with above Tk1 crore annual turnover is not transferred through banking channels. Agriculture and farming are proposed to remain out of this purview.         

Finance ministry officials said the proposed measures would help make returns easier, and the taxpayers will be benefited ultimately.    

Service providers sans return submissions to face fine  

Contractors and suppliers now pay 2%-12% source taxes on their purchases and sales. In the next budget, the range has been proposed at 0.65%-12%.

Currently, contractors and suppliers are required to pay 50% additional tax at source in the purchases and sales of goods and services if they do not have a TIN. From next year, they will have to submit tax returns against such purchases and sales, otherwise, they will have to pay 50% additional money on their total source tax.

A Deputy Commissioner of Taxes of a tax zone in Dhaka told The Business Standard that suppliers to big businesses usually pay the source taxes. But both the sourcing company and supplier tend to evade tax in case of small-scale supplies.

"If the return submissions are mandated for the service providers, such sourcing and transactions will be more transparent," he added.    

Four sectors to come under tax deduction at sources    

New four sectors – hotel, resort, community center and transport agency whose annual turnover is more than Tk1 crore – have been proposed for source tax deduction. Currently, source taxes are deducted in 16 sectors.

Service providers with annual business less than Tk25 lakh pay 10% source tax, while the rate is 12% if business is more than Tk25 lakh. Such ventures are levied with 50% more source tax if they do not have a TIN.     

In the next budget, return submission documents will replace the TIN, while the default will meet with 50% source tax. Besides, if the bills are not collected through the banking channels, there will be provision for 50% more source tax

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https://www.thedailystar.net/bangla/সংবাদ/বাংলাদেশ/অপরাধ-ও-বিচার/শাহজালাল-বিমানবন্দরে-২-লাখ-৩০-হাজার-৫০০-ডলারসহ-আটক-২-354846

শাহজালাল বিমানবন্দরে ২ লাখ ৩০ হাজার ডলারসহ আটক ২

স্টার অনলাইন রিপোর্ট

বৃহস্পতিবার, জুন ২, ২০২২ ১১:২০ পূর্বাহ্ন

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উদ্ধারকৃত ডলার

হযরত শাহজালাল আন্তর্জাতিক বিমানবন্দরে ২ লাখ ৩০ হাজার ৫০০ ইউ এস ডলারসহ ২ জনকে আটক করেছে কাস্টমস কর্মকর্তারা।

গতকাল বুধবার রাতে এমিরেটস এবং তার্কিস এয়ারলাইন্সের আলাদা ২টি ফ্লাইটে বিমানবন্দর ত্যাগ করার সময় কাস্টমস হাউসের প্রিভেন্টিভ টিম তাদের আটক করে।

কাস্টমসের সহকারী রাজস্ব কর্মকর্তা মো. হারুন-অর-রশিদ দ্য ডেইলি স্টারকে এ তথ্য নিশ্চিত করেন।

তিনি বলেন, 'গতকাল সন্ধ্যা সাড়ে ৬টার দিকে শাহজালাল বিমানবন্দরে এমিরেটস ইক এর ৫৮৭ ফ্লাইটে বাংলাদেশি পাসর্পোটধারী মাহমুদা ফিরোজ নামের এক যাত্রীকে ৭ নম্বর বোর্ডিং গেট থেকে সাড়ে ৩০ হাজার ইউ এস ডলারসহ আটক করা হয়। তিনি যুক্তরাষ্ট্র যাচ্ছিলেন। মাহমুদার পাসপোর্টের ঠিকানা রাজধানীর নিউমার্কেট এলাকা। তার ২ ছেলে-মেয়ে যুক্তরাষ্ট্রে থাকেন। একমাস আগে তিনি দেশে আসেন।'

অপর এক ঘটনায় গতরাত সাড়ে ৯টার দিকে শাহজালাল বিমানবন্দরে তার্কিস এয়ারলাইন্সের টিকে ৭১৩ ফ্লাইটে বাংলাদেশ ত্যাগ করার সময় তুর্কি পাসর্পোটধারী মেহমেত রেমজি নামের এক যাত্রীকে ১০ নম্বর বোর্ডিং গেট থেকে এক লাখ বিশ হাজার ইউ এস ডলারসহ আটক করা হয়। পরবর্তীতে কাস্টমস হলে বিভিন্ন সংস্থার উপস্থিতে তার শরীরে তল্লাশি করে আরও ৮০ হাজার ইউ এস ডলার পাওয়া যায়। কোনো প্রকার ঘোষণা ছাড়াই তিনি এই ডলার বহন করছিলেন।

হারুন-অর-রশিদ বলেন, 'তুর্কি এই নাগরিক এর আগে গত ডিসেম্বরে বাংলাদেশে এসেছিলেন। সবশেষ ১ মাস আগে তিনি আবারও আসেন। কেন তিনি এতো পরিমাণ ডলার বহন করছিলেন সে বিষয়ে বিস্তারিত কিছু তথ্য দিতে পারেননি।'

'পৃথক ২টি ফৌজদারি মামলায় আটক ২ জনকে বিমানবন্দর থানায় সোপর্দ করা হয়েছে। আটককৃত ডলার কাস্টমসের গুদামে জমা করা হয়েছে। এছাড়া কাস্টমস অ্যাক্ট অনুযায়ী যথাযথ ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণ করা হবে,' তিনি যোগ করেন।

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/15-tax-textile-sector-continue-till-2025-432238

Jasim Uddin & Reyad Hossain

03 June, 2022, 12:00 pm

Last modified: 03 June, 2022, 02:26 pm

15% tax for textile sector to continue till 2025

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Spinning factory of Mother Textile. Photo: Salahuddin Ahmed

The government is going to extend the existing reduced 15% corporate tax for the textile sector for another three fiscal years, subject to its compliance with some conditions, according to finance ministry officials.

Spinning, yarn dyeing, finishing, coning, fabric dyeing, printing or any other such industries will also enjoy the benefit.

But the companies must be registered under the Companies Act, and comply with all provisions of that ordinance.

If they have paid any penalty slapped by any government authorities for violation of environmental rules and regulations, that fiscal year they have to pay a regular tax rate. The extension will be effective from 1 July this year and will remain in effect until 30 June 2025.

Currently, the corporate tax rate is 30% for non-listed companies and 22.5% for the listed ones.

The government has taken the move to extend the reduced tax rate facility as part of its revenue incentive policy geared towards making this industry globally competitive, ministry officials said. 

Bangladesh has secured second position in RMG exports globally because of such support. 

And, to retain this achievement and to get expected revenue from this sector, the reduced tax rate should continue for the textile sector, they noted. 

As the statutory regulatory order to this effect will expire on 30 June this year, the new budget will propose extending the facility up to 30 June 2025.

Welcoming this move, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) President Mohammad Ali Khokon told The Business Standard that it is an encouraging move for the sector that is in the same league as others grappling with raw material price hikes. 

He requested that the government continue this facility till 2030 to deal with post-LDC challenges. 

Envoy Textile Chairman Kutubuddin Ahmed told TBS such an extension to the reduced tax rate is not enough. The sector's total tax burden is higher as they have to pay source tax that is not adjustable with the corporate tax. 

The textile sector requires more focus if the government wants to strengthen the backward linkage industry of the apparel sector, he also said.

The government should provide the textile sector with more facilities, such as easy access to gas and electricity connections, so they can expand their capacity and bring in new investors, Kutubuddin noted. 

At the same time, the sector should get loans at a low interest, he added. 

BGMEA former president Kutubuddin Ahmed said the apparel sector has strengthened its footprint globally, but if the textile sector fails to boost its capacity before the LDC graduation, the RMG industry might face challenges after Bangladesh's graduation to a developing nation in 2026.

VAT on wholesale of fabrics cut to 2%

In the meantime, VAT on wholesale of fabrics at the local market will be slashed to 2% from 5% from the next fiscal year, sources said.

The decision has primarily been made targeting Old Dhaka-centric fabric markets. Most of the country's wholesale fabrics are sold in the markets. Besides, there are many wholesale fabric markets in Narayanganj, Narsingdi, Pabna and Sirajganj.

Businesses complained that the current VAT rate is much higher. 

Seeking anonymity, an official at the National Board of Revenue said even though fabrics in huge quantities are being sold at the wholesale level across the country, VAT collection from this sector is not satisfactory. So, the NBR aims to increase VAT collection by cutting the rate. 

Monsoor Ahmed, chief executive officer (in-charge) at BTMA, said the VAT rate cut will give a relief to local consumers as product prices have already gone high due to hikes in raw material prices.

He also demanded that VAT on synthetic and viscose yarns be reduced in line with cotton yarns. 

Currently, the revenue board collects Tk3 in VAT on sales of 1kg cotton yarns and Tk6 for non-cotton yarns.

Abu Motaleb, director at Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and also general secretary of the Old Dhaka-based business platform, told TBS that profits of many wholesale traders do not even exceed 2%. 

So, if this VAT rate is reduced to 0.5% and electronic fiscal devices are provided to traders at low costs, VAT collection from wholesalers of fabrics will see success, otherwise not, he said.

There is no exact information on the number of transactions in fabric sales per month across the country. But Abu Motaleb said the Old Dhaka-centric markets have a monthly turnover of around Tk1,000 crore.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/nbr/no-more-waiver-income-tax-loan-interest-432674

Reyad Hossain

04 June, 2022, 01:30 pm

Last modified: 04 June, 2022, 03:01 pm

No more waiver of income tax on loan interest

Business leaders say such a move would be “inhumane”

 

In the event of failing to repay bank loans, companies have so far enjoyed waiver of interest on that loan and tax exemption on the interest amount – a facility that may discontinue from next year.

The government is likely to bring such a proposal in the finance bill of the next budget. However, individual taxpayers will continue to get tax exemption on such waived loan interest as usual.

Businesspeople say the move will be effective in tackling irregularities of loan repayments. But for those who are not irregular and only defaulted in the face of business losses, this will create additional stress for them.

Business leaders say such an initiative would be "inhumane". Because, one has to understand at what stage a company goes bankrupt. Such an initiative would not be business-friendly at all, they add.

At present, under Section 19 (11) of the Income Tax Ordinance, no taxpayer will be subject to income tax if he has been waived a bank loan or interest. As such, both the individual and the company – the borrower – have been getting tax exemptions on such interests.

However, over the past few years, massive amounts of loans have been turning into defaults and most of the default loans are disbursed to companies rather than to individuals.

Sources say banks cannot waive the principal amount of a loan. If a borrower defaults, he may get a waiver on the whole or part of the interest at the end of the process.

Often a company goes into default due to losses caused by factors beyond their control. However, in the last few years, the issue of defaulting intentionally has become common in Bangladesh. There are allegations that sometimes the bank also has a hand in this.

In such cases, banks waive the interest on these loans. As there is tax exemption on this money, it becomes very easy.

A Deputy Commissioner of Taxes (DCT) of the Income Tax Department of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) told The Business Standard on condition of anonymity that sometimes banks waive the interest. It is also possible that sometimes they themselves are behind the company.

Now if that interest amount is considered as income and tax is imposed on it, it will work to some extent to prevent irregularities, the official said.

Snehasish Barua, tax law expert and partner at Snehasish Mahmud and company, NBR thinks that such a move would be positive. It will not be easy to make irregularities on the interest of the default loans. This will create an opportunity to get out of the defaulting culture.

However, Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, senior vice president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), said it would be inhumane to take such an initiative.

He told The Business Standard that a company becomes a defaulter due to losses. Even after that the bank never waives the principal amount. At the end of various processes, the amount of interest can be waived. Taxing it will be like slaughtering dead people.

He suggested increasing the tax collection.

Sources say, many times if the loan is not repaid, it goes on year after year. Sometimes it ends up in court. Sometimes the amount of interest becomes more than the principal amount. The interest on the loan can be easily waived as there is no accountability.

Exact figures on how much commercial banks have waived interest rates are not available.

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/trade/importers-printing-press-demand-duty-cut-on-import-dependent-papers-1654352201

Importers, printing press demand duty cut on import-dependent papers

 3.0-5.0pc duty sought instead of 47pc

 FE ONLINE REPORT | Published:  June 04, 2022 20:16:41

1654352201.jpg

Paper importers and the printing and packaging sector leaders on Saturday demanded a reduction of import duty on the papers that are not produced in Bangladesh.

Leaders of the sector said only eleven types of paper are produced locally while the rest of other quality come from overseas at  47 per cent of duties which should be 3.0 to 5.0 per cent maximum. 

The demand came at the first meeting of the standing committee on paper, paper products, printing and packaging organised by the FBCCI on Saturday at its office in the city, said an FBCCI release. 

Despite being self-sufficient in paper production, India imposes 18 per cent, Indonesia 19  and China 17 per cent on paper imports. 

Since Bangladesh is still import-dependent on paper, businessmen called for reviewing the duty and fixing it between 3.0 and 5.0 per cent. 

They also urged the government to facilitate the import of the paper for the NCTB Books at zero duty. 

Carton makers complained there is no regulation in raising the prices of raw materials. 

Traders are forced to buy raw materials at high prices and sell those at low rates, said the carton manufacturers thus causing losses as well as shutting down the business. 

“Apart from that, a 5.0 per cent AIT on raw materials and 7.0 per cent TDS have also to be paid on finished goods, which is illogical”, they claimed. 

Speaking as the chief guest, FBCCI Vice President Md Amin Helaly informed that the global outsourcing market for printing and packaging products is worth $ 3.0 trillion. 

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs should try to fetch a share of the market, he said. 

 “The printing and packaging occupy almost 15 per cent of the total production cost of a product which indicates the country earns $ 6.0 billion through its indirect exports. 

He emphasised comprehensive policy including both the government and the private sector to grab the global market. 

Director In-Charge of the standing Committee Md Shafiqul Islam Vorosha said that coordinated effort is much needed to develop the paper and paper-based products industry further. 

Chairman of the standing committee Md Esharot Hossain said the printing sector would contribute to the country’s economy as like the garment sector if the government provides proper policy support. 

FBCCI Director Bijoy Kumar Kejriwal, Abu Motaleb, Harun Or Roshid, Rezaul Islam Milon, and secretary-general Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque also spoke among others. 

[email protected]

 

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https://www.tbsnews.net/nbr/source-tax-bank-deposit-interests-companies-double-next-year-433418

Jasim Uddin

05 June, 2022, 03:15 pm

Last modified: 05 June, 2022, 03:17 pm

Source tax on bank deposit interests of companies to double next year

 

The government is going to double deduction at source from interests on bank deposits of companies from the next fiscal year with a view to thwarting any possible attempts to evade tax by keeping such savings unreported during returns submission, according to sources at the finance ministry.  

The new budget for FY23 is likely to propose raising the rate of source tax to 20% from the existing 10% from interests on savings deposits, fixed deposits or any term deposits maintained by company taxpayers with any banks or non-bank financial institutions interest, they also said.

The deduction will remain at 10% for individual depositors and public universities or educational institutions whose teachers are enlisted for monthly pay order, while the current 5% source tax will continue to be levied on recognised provident fund, approved gratuity fund, approved superannuation fund or pension fund, ministry officials said.

The companies, which are enjoying tax exemption, will remain out of the purview of the source tax. The source tax cut will not apply to any deposit pension scheme sponsored by the government or by a bank with prior approval of the government. 

If any person or a company fails to furnish proof of income tax return submission, the rate of deduction will be 50% higher, they added. 

Abul Kashem Khan, a trustee of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), told The Business Standard that the NBR is going to double source tax on bank deposit interests to show higher revenue mobilisation before the tax year ends, but such a move will interrupt money flow of companies.   

The source tax hike on deposit interests on the pretext of reining in tax evasion, rather than strengthening its digital ecosystem for the purpose will be unjustified, he noted. 

Overregulation does not allow growth of any sectors, Abul Kashem, also a former president of DCCI said, citing an example of how the booming e-commerce sector has plunged into a fragile condition because of tough regulations following irregularities of some rogue companies, such as E-valy.

Professor Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said the source tax will put pressure on companies' total cash flow. So, doubling the source tax will not be logical.

Dr M Masrur Reaz, chairman at Policy Exchange of Bangladesh, said deducting tax at source is contradictory with the basic principles of corporate income tax.

Income tax should be realised after calculating all expenditure, but source tax is deducted at the early stage, he also said, adding that such tax deduction should be abolished.

Source tax or advance income tax blocks a part of capital till it is adjusted after the filing of tax returns to the NBR, he further explained.

In Bangladesh, a number of AITs are not adjusted for a long time, he also said, adding that total tax incidence is already higher in Bangladesh than in neighbouring countries.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/govt-lower-corporate-tax-12-non-rmg-sectors-434486

Reyad Hossain & Jasim Uddin

06 June, 2022, 11:10 pm

Last modified: 07 June, 2022, 12:10 am

Govt to lower corporate tax to 12% for non-RMG sectors

The reduced rates will not be applicable for transport service, mobile telecommunication service and internet and internet-based services, said the ministry officials

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The government is going to introduce a 12% corporate tax for all export sectors – the same rate as the readymade garment industry is now enjoying – with a view to encouraging export diversification, according to foreign ministry sources.

Besides, green industries exporting goods and services will be taxed at 10%. All sectors other than the RMG now pay a 30% tax for exports of goods and services.

The massive cut in corporate tax will ensure a level-playing field for all other sectors. This type of export-friendly initiative will lower the trade deficit with other countries, according to sources at the foreign ministry.

The deficit in the balance of payment in foreign currency will be minimised as well, they noted.

The prevailing tax rate for export-oriented RMG factories stands at 12% and it is 10% for green ones. 

The reduced rates will not be applicable for transport service, mobile telecommunication service and internet and internet-based services, said the ministry officials. 

Welcoming this move, Shamim Ahmed, president at Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told The Business Standard, "This will play a big role in boosting local and foreign investments."

Moazzem Hossain Moti, president of Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the RMG sector also gets extra facilities while availing customs-related services. If a level-playing field is ensured here too it will help non-RMG sectors go for more diversification. 

Dr Ahsan H Mansur, executive director at Policy Research Institute, said it is a very important decision to promote other industries and maintain equality with the export-oriented garment sector.

This move will also be helpful for reducing the trade deficit to some extent, he also said.

The economist suggested that the government provide duty-free access to raw materials for all exporters under a central bonded warehouse, he noted.

Welcoming the government move, Abul Kashem khan, a trustee of Business Initiative Leading Development, said it will be a groundbreaking step to diversify the export basket.

"Providing the same facility for all export sectors is our long-time demand, which will help them grow equally," he added.

The government should consider the common bonded warehouse facility for all exporters, Abul Kashem, a former president of DCCI, also said.

10% source tax for Internet services coming

The government is going to deduct a 10% tax at source on Internet services. Besides, the source tax on bandwidth payments made to foreign companies with no establishments in Bangladesh will be slashed to 10% from the existing 20%, according to finance ministry sources.  

There may also be a proposal in the next budget to consider the adjustable 5% tax collected from imports of beverage concentrate, exports of services, operations of inland ships and commercial vehicles as a minimum tax.  

At present, Children getting any gifts in the form of money, land and other properties from their parents are exempted from taxation.

But tax is imposed on the gifts received by parents from their children. There will not be such taxation in the next fiscal year.

No scope to invest black money in stocks

The opportunity to whiten undisclosed money by investing in the capital market will go in the next fiscal year, with no expected response from untaxed money holders in the current fiscal year. 

In the current fiscal year, the untaxed money can be invested in the stock market, subject to paying 25% tax plus a 10% penalty on the payable tax.  

The government is also going to withdraw the opportunity to legalise undisclosed property, such as flats, bank deposits and savings instruments on similar conditions. 

Source tax on new services 

The new budget will also propose imposing a 5% source tax on rental value of waterbodies, which are not government property. 

At the same time, Internet service providers also will face a 10% source tax while receiving their payments.

Finance ministry officials said the source tax will be revised to make it simple as the current rates for a service is divided based on the amount that does not exceed Tk25 lakh - if the amount is more the rate is higher. 

According to the new budget proposals, source tax on advisory or consultancy service, professional service, credit rating services, technical services and technical assistance fees will be deducted at a rate of 10% instead of the existing 12%.

At the same time, catering service, cleaning service, collection and recovery service, private security service, manpower supply service, creative media service, public relations service, event management service, training, workshop, organisation and management service, courier service packing and shifting service will be taxed at the same rate.

Finance ministry officials believe that if all such proposals get approval, economic activities in Bangladesh will continue to be vibrant, inflow of foreign remittance will increase with growth in the export sector, tax net and formal economy will expand, new entrepreneurs will grow and employment will generate, foreign investment will increase and business friendly environment will be ensured. 

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/govt-slash-source-tax-raw-material-4-435230

Jasim Uddin & Reyad Hossain

07 June, 2022, 11:10 pm

Last modified: 07 June, 2022, 11:16 pm

Govt to slash source tax on raw material to 4%

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The government is going to cut tax at source on supplies of raw materials to manufacturers from 7% to 4%, with a view to reducing production costs, according to sources at the finance ministry.  

Besides, the source tax rate on supplies of trading goods will be reduced to 5% from 7% and on supplies of books except those by the government to 3% from 7%.

The existence of various rates of tax at source on different types of supplies causes excessive effective tax burden on business people in certain cases. So, the government is going to cut such a tax as it is committed to ensuring ease of doing business and maintaining a business-friendly environment, finance ministry officials said.

Welcoming this move, Abul Kasem Khan, former president at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Business Standard, "Reducing tax at source on raw material supplies is our long-time demand. If it is met, our competitiveness will go up further, which will also help us cope with post-LDC challenges."  

The new budget for FY23 is also going to make mandatory submission of audited financial reports by all business entities, defined as companies under the Income Tax Act.

According to the Income Tax Ordinance, any nationalised banking or other financial institutions, insurance bodies and industrial or business enterprises are deemed companies. 

From next fiscal year, business regulators, authorities and corporations will also have to submit audited financial reports.

As of now, only the businesses registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms are regarded as companies and they are to file audited financial statements. 

The government has taken this move to bring both companies and auditors under tax compliance and also stop submissions of fake financial statements, ministry officials said.

Seeking anonymity, a chief financial officer at a business conglomerate said small business entities will see their costs rise if the submission of audited financial reports is made compulsory for them.

In the meantime, contributions made to a company's Workers' Profit Participation Fund are also coming under the tax net. Currently, it is considered as expenditure and is exempted from tax.

The government is taking this initiative to levy tax on such a fund in keeping with the labour law, said finance ministry officials, adding that as a company gives a portion of his annual profits to the fund, it is being brought under taxation.

Abul Kasem said the imposition of tax on Workers' Profit Participation Fund will increase business costs. 

The new budget is also likely to propose slashing source tax rates to 10% from 20% on non-resident bandwidth payment to promote Digital Bangladesh. 

With a view to discouraging making payments of bills through illegal channels, the rate of collecting source tax from other service payments to foreign entities will be slashed from 30% to 20%.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/suppliers-against-intl-tenders-lose-exporter-status-facilities-435886

Jasim Uddin

08 June, 2022, 10:50 pm

Last modified: 08 June, 2022, 10:57 pm

Suppliers against int’l tenders to lose exporter status, facilities

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Local businesses that supply goods or services against international tenders are going to lose their exporter status and all facilities in the next fiscal year, according to sources at the finance ministry.

If goods and services do not go outside Bangladesh's geographical boundary, it will no longer be considered as exports, the new provision incorporated into the income tax law defines.

Besides, under an internal back-to-back letter of credit, suppliers of locally-manufactured raw materials and other inputs to export-oriented industries will be called exporters.

So, from the next fiscal year, all other suppliers will have to pay a 5% tax at source on goods and 4% on raw materials, said finance ministry officials.

The government is going to introduce a new definition of export in the next budget as in the absence of it, many local businesses have long been enjoying export benefits only by participating in international tenders despite supplying goods and services to manufacturers for local consumption, they noted.

However, Abul Kasem Khan, former president at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Business Standard that if any local businesses can secure work orders of goods and services by competing with international suppliers, they should be allowed for continued export benefits.

"Whatever policies that the government formulates should be for enhancing competitiveness of all local businesses," he added.

In the meantime, the government is going to exempt research and development expenses from taxation, finally taking a long-time demand of businesses into consideration.

Currently, there is no clear provision in the income tax law to consider this expenditure as allowable expenses. So, tax is levied on it deeming it as income.

According to the new budget, research and development means any systematic, investigative and experimental study that involves novelty or technical risk carried out in the field of science or technology with the object of acquiring new knowledge or using the results of the study for the production or improvement of materials, devices, products, produce, or processes.

To appoint skilled manpower for research and development and business expansion in different industries, the new budget is going to increase the limit of allowable perquisites to Tk10 lakh from the existing Tk5.5 lakh, meaning that no tax will be imposed on it.

Perquisite is a privileged gain or profit alongside regular salary. Perquisites can be simple as a company car, fuel reimbursement and other benefits. It also includes interest-free loans, medical facilities, credit cards, accommodation sponsored by the companies, etc.

Finance ministry officials said the existing Tk5.5 lakh prerequisite limit is a main obstacle to recruiting skilled manpower. So, the government has decided to raise the bar.

There is also good news for microcredit lenders in the next budget as they do not have to compulsorily receive all deposits through the banking system.

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https://www.dhakapost.com/economy/121227

বাজেটে এনবিআরের লক্ষ্য ৩ লাখ ৭০ হাজার কোটি টাকা

জ্যেষ্ঠ প্রতিবেদক

০৮ জুন ২০২২, ০৯:০৭ পিএম

আসন্ন ২০২২-২০২৩ অর্থবছরের প্রস্তাবিত বাজেটের আকার হতে যাচ্ছে ৬ লাখ ৭৮ হাজার ৬৪ কোটি টাকা, যা মোট জিডিপির প্রায় ১৫ দশমিক ৩৮ শতাংশ এবং চলতি ২০২১-২০২২ অর্থবছরের প্রস্তাবিত বাজেটের তুলনায় ৭৪ হাজার ৩৮৩ কোটি টাকা বেশি।

‘কোভিডের অভিঘাত কাটিয়ে উন্নয়নের ধারাবাহিকতায় প্রত্যাবর্তন’ প্রতিপাদ্য সামনে রেখে বৃহস্পতিবার (৯ জুন) বিকেলে জাতীয় সংসদে অর্থমন্ত্রী আ হ ম মুস্তফা কামাল বাজেট উপস্থাপন করবেন।

প্রস্তাবিত বাজেটে রাজস্ব আয়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা ধরা হচ্ছে ৪ লাখ ৩৩ হাজার কোটি টাকা, যার মধ্যে কর ৩ লাখ ৮৮ হাজার কোটি টাকা। যেখানে জাতীয় রাজস্ব বোর্ডের (এনবিআর) মাধ্যমে রাজস্ব আদায়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা নির্ধারণ করা হয়েছে ৩ লাখ ৭০ হাজার কোটি টাকা।

যদিও বরাবরের মতো বিশাল লক্ষ্যমাত্রা নিয়ে সংশয় রয়েছে বাজেট সংশ্লিষ্টদের। কেননা চলতি ২০২১-২০২২ অর্থবছরের ১০ মাস পেরিয়ে গেলেও এনবিআর লক্ষ্যমাত্রার তুলনায় পিছিয়ে আছে ৩২ হাজার ২৪৪ কোটি টাকা। ১৫ দশমিক ২৭ শতাংশ প্রবৃদ্ধি সন্তোষজনক মনে হলেও লক্ষ্যমাত্রা পূরণে আয়কর, ভ্যাট ও শুল্ক বিভাগে পিছিয়ে রয়েছে প্রতিষ্ঠানটি। ফলে আগামী অর্থবছরে লক্ষ্যমাত্রা বৃদ্ধি এনবিআরের জন্য বাড়তি চাপ হয়ে যাবে মনে করছেন সংশ্লিষ্টরা।

অন্যদিকে আসন্ন বাজেটে এনবিআর বহির্ভূত কর ধরা হচ্ছে ১৮ হাজার কোটি টাকা এবং কর ব্যতিত আয় ধরা হচ্ছে ৪৫ হাজার কোটি টাকা।

চলতি ২০২১-২২ অর্থবছরের বাজেটে মোট রাজস্ব আয়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা ধরা হয়েছে তিন লাখ ৮৯ হাজার কোটি টাকা। এর মধ্যে এনবিআরের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা তিন লাখ ৩০ হাজার কোটি টাকা। এতে মূল্য সংযোজন কর বা ভ্যাট থেকে সবচেয়ে বেশি অর্থাৎ এক লাখ ২৮ হাজার ৮৭৩ কোটি টাকা, আয়কর ও ভ্রমণ কর থেকে এক লাখ পাঁচ হাজার ৪৭৫ কোটি টাকা এবং আমদানি শুল্ক থেকে ৯৫ হাজার ৬৫২ কোটি টাকা আয়ের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা ধরা হয়েছে।

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/ultra-rich-pay-more-excise-duty-bank-accounts-436278

TBS Report

09 June, 2022, 03:40 pm

Last modified: 09 June, 2022, 03:46 pm

Ultra-rich to pay more excise duty on bank accounts

 

In the budget for FY2022-23, the government has proposed raising excise duty on bank balance above Tk5 crore.

"At present excise duty of Tk40,000 is collected on bank accounts where the balance, at any time of the year, was above Tk5 crore. I propose to increase excise duty to Tk50,000/- from Tk. 40,000/- for bank accounts, where balance at any time of the year is above Tk5 crore," Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said while placing the budget today.

The finance minister has placed Tk6,78,064 crore national budget for FY23 at Jatiya Sangsad according top priority to safeguarding marginal people from inflation fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

This is the fourth budget of the third consecutive term of the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also the overall 51st budget of the country.

The proposed budget is Tk74,383 crore higher than the original budget size of the FY2021-22 fiscal year, which was Tk6,03,681 crore.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/5-tax-restaurant-sector-436298

TBS Report

09 June, 2022, 03:40 pm

Last modified: 09 June, 2022, 03:45 pm

5% tax for restaurant sector

“I propose 5 percent VAT on both AC and Non-AC restaurants (except restaurants in hotels with 3 or more star, and restaurants, where alcohol is served) instead of 10 percent VAT on AC restaurant and 5 percent VAT on non-AC restaurant,” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said during his budget speech

 

The government has proposed 5% tax for the restaurant sector in the national budget for FY23.

"I propose 5 percent VAT on both AC and Non-AC restaurants (except restaurants in hotels with 3 or more star, and restaurants, where alcohol is served) instead of 10 percent VAT on AC restaurant and 5 percent VAT on non-AC restaurant," Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said during his budget speech.

The finance minister on Thursday (9 June) placed the Tk6,78,064 crore national budget for FY23 at Jatiya Sangsad according top priority to safeguarding marginal people from inflation fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

This is the fourth budget of the third consecutive term of the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also the overall 51st budget of the country.

The proposed budget is Tk74,383 crore higher than the original budget size of the FY2021-22 fiscal year, which was Tk6,03,681 crore.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/10-tax-increase-shaving-beautification-toiletries-disinfectant-and-depilatory-items

TBS Report

09 June, 2022, 03:35 pm

Last modified: 09 June, 2022, 03:39 pm

10% tax increase on shaving, beautification, toiletries, disinfectant, and depilatory items

In the proposed budget, a 20% tax would be imposed on those items

 

The government has decided to increase the tax on shaving, beautification, toiletries, disinfectant, and depilatory items by 10% in the national budget for FY23.

At present, the tax on such items is 10%. These include fragrances, makeup items, shaving items, toiletries, and disinfectant items.

In the proposed budget, a 20% tax would be imposed on those items.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has placed the Tk6,78,064 crore national budget for FY23 at Jatiya Sangsad according top priority to safeguarding marginal people from inflation fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

This is the fourth budget of the third consecutive term of the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also the overall 51st budget of the country.

The proposed budget is Tk74,383 crore higher than the original budget size of the FY2021-22 fiscal year, which was Tk6,03,681 crore.

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https://bangla.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2022/06/09/16547674772381

ব্যয়বহুল হচ্ছে বিবাহবিচ্ছেদ!

নতুন বাজেটে এই পরিমাণ বাড়িয়ে দুই হাজার টাকা করার প্রস্তাব করা হচ্ছে

ট্রিবিউন ডেস্ক

প্রকাশিত: ০১:৩৮ দুপুর জুন ০৯, ২০২২

উত্থাপিত হতে যাওয়া নতুন বাজেটে বিবাহবিচ্ছেদ (ডিভোর্স ইনস্ট্রুমেন্ট) শুল্ক বাড়াতে যাচ্ছে সরকার। এর ফলে বিবাহবিচ্ছেদের খরচ বাড়বে।

এনবিআর সূত্রে জানা গেছে, বিবাহবিচ্ছেদ রেজিস্ট্রেশনের জন্য বর্তমানে ৫০০ টাকা স্ট্যাম্প খরচ নেওয়া হয়। তবে নতুন বাজেটে এই পরিমাণ বাড়িয়ে দুই হাজার টাকা করার প্রস্তাব করা হচ্ছে।

সরকারি পরিসংখ্যান সূত্রে জানা যায়, রাজধানীতে বিবাহবিচ্ছেদের সংখ্যা বেড়েছে। পুরুষদের তুলনায় দ্বিগুণেরও বেশি নারী বিচ্ছেদের জন্য নোটিশ দিচ্ছেন।

ঢাকা দক্ষিণ সিটি কর্পোরেশনে ২০২১ সালে মোট ৭ হাজার ২৪৫টি বিবাহবিচ্ছেদের নোটিশ দেওয়া হয়েছে। এর মধ্যে, নারীরা পাঠিয়েছেন ৫ হাজার ১৮৩টি নোটিশ। অন্যদিকে ২ হাজার ৬২টি নোটিশ পাঠিয়েছেন পুরুষেরা।

বিবাহবিচ্ছেদ চাওয়ার প্রধান কারণগুলোর মধ্যে রয়েছে দারিদ্র্য, শারীরিক ও মানসিক নির্যাতন, মাদকাসক্তি, যৌতুক, অসদাচরণ, বিবাহবহির্ভূত সম্পর্ক, কোভিড-প্ররোচিত চাপ এবং সামাজিক যোগাযোগমাধ্যমের ব্যবহার।

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2022/06/09/budget-fy23-15-vat-imposed-on-imported-laptops

Budget FY23: 15% VAT imposed on imported laptops

Prices to go up

 

Tribune Desk

June 9, 2022 2:37 PM

In the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2022-23, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has proposed to impose 15% value added tax (VAT) on imported laptops. 

The finance minister said: “Laptop computer imports are subject to VAT exemption. As a result, domestic computer manufacturers are facing uneven competition. So, I am proposing to impose 15% VAT on laptop computer imports.”

As a result, the total tax incidence of the product stands at 31%, he added.

He proposed the budget on Thursday.

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2022/06/09/budget-fy23-turnover-tax-for-startups-to-be-cut

Budget FY 23: Government fixes turnover tax rate at 0.1% instead of 0.6% for startups

The government also exempted startups from bindings of all other types of reporting except the submission of income tax returns

Tribune Report

June 9, 2022 3:10 PM

The government has fixed the rate of turnover tax at 0.1% instead of 0.6% for startups as well as removed the expense ceiling so that they can promote and market their products to customers while spending on research and development.

It also exempted startups from bindings of all other types of reporting except the submission of income tax returns.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said this while proposing the budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year in the parliament on June 9.

The Finance Minister placed the Tk6,78,064 crore national budget for FY23 prioritizing the safeguarding of marginal people from inflation mainly fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

This is the 51st budget of the country and the fourth budget of the third consecutive term of the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The proposed budget is Tk74,383 crore higher than the previous one which was Tk6,03,681 crore.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/budget/corporates-get-big-boost-436678

TBS Report

09 June, 2022, 08:00 pm

Last modified: 09 June, 2022, 08:09 pm

Corporates get a big boost

Bangladesh Corporate Inc got a big boost on Thursday as the proposed budget offers a raft of incentives for business and manufacturing.

They got a big corporate tax cut – a long-standing demand of the business community - will improve the business environment.

Promises have been made to continue subsidy and stimulus for industries in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. Tax at source has also been reduced.

Start-ups will get a new life as their turnover tax has been reduced drastically and they will be allowed to carry forward losses over a period of nine years.

Research and development spending of companies has been allowed to be shown as expenditures without any ceiling. Companies' perquisite ceiling has been increased from Tk5.50 lakh to Tk10 lakh per person, allowing businesses to rope in good talents with lucrative job offers.

Proposals have been made to ease doing business in many areas, such as amendments of input tax credit so that businesses may get rebates easily. Owners of raw materials will be allowed to deliver goods directly to contract manufacturers.

Amendments have been proposed in the rules of VAT deduction at source to simplify the process.

To crease out business difficulties, penalties have been reduced and payable time increased in case of VAT disputes.

Changes in VAT rates have been proposed for a number of industries like steel and Pet chips. VAT has also been reduced in wholesale trading.  

Some manufacturing sectors have been kept out of tax as a continuation of current strategy. The ocean-going vessels have got relived from tax on forex income till 2030.

Slashing corporate taxes for all exporters other than the readymade garment industry from 30% to 12% and even lower to 10% for green ones is a big boost for business expansion and new investments in the export sector.

And what lies in the budget for FY23 mainly for local businesses is laudable too as they are offered a cut of 2.5 percentage points in corporate taxes, subject to compliance with certain conditions, such as going for cashless transactions. 

Abul Kasem Khan, a trustee of BUILD Bangladesh, told The Business Standard, "I think it is a business-friendly budget as all measures aim at controlling inflation."

There are still some challenges as they do not get refunds of advance income taxes they pay on 111 sectors, he noted.

At a time when all manufacturers are reeling under soaring input costs, the finance minister in his budget unveiled on Thursday in parliament has also come up with some relief for them with a tax cut on supplies of goods to 5%, raw materials 4% and books to 3% from the existing 7% for all.

The new budget also proposed exempting VAT on local manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients and local purchase of raw materials of refrigerators and withdrawing advance tax on imported raw materials of polypropylene staple fibre. The power tiller manufacturing also is exempted from VAT. 

New entrepreneurs have not missed out on benefits either as the budget has also offered a "startup sandbox" to motivate them. For example, a minimum tax rate for them has been slashed to 0.1% from 0.6% and they are also allowed to carry forward their losses up to nine successive assessment years.

Amid all those measures aimed at making doing business easier, there are some new challenges in the new budget, which exporters might find tougher to negotiate. The source tax on all export sectors has been raised to 1% from 0.5%.  

Businesses that were so far required to show TINs will have to show proof of return submissions from next year, or else, they will have to pay a fine ranging from Tk5,000 to Tk20,000. The proposed budget also imposed 5% VAT on locally-made mobile phones and refrigerators.

Rizwan Rahman, president at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "The new budget has fulfilled 50% of their demand. The tax rationalisation will reduce dependence on a single sector and offer others opportunities to grow further." 

Stating that 99% of businesses will be able to benefit from this conditional corporate tax cut, he said the petty cash maintaining condition has been equal for both small vendors and large conglomerates, which is not justified.

Instead, the government should fix a certain percentage of turnover for cash transactions, he noted.

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