Now it is time to widen the tax net since corporate taxes have been reduced in the national budget for the last three years, said the National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman on Tuesday.
"The capacity of the NBR is being increased for this purpose," said Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem at an event at the revenue building in the capital's Segunbagicha.
The event was arranged on the occasion of a lottery draw aimed at rewarding consumers who paid VAT using electronic fiscal devices (EFDs), the much-talked-about e-cash registers promoted as a tool to curb tax dodging.
Elaborating on ways to expand the tax net, the NBR chairman said they will work towards changing the types of tax surveys, and ensuring tax compliance and tax return submissions of entities with tax identification numbers (TINs).
The revenue authorities will also give effort to bringing homeowners in Dhaka under the tax net and identifying taxpayers at the upazila level, he added.
Muneem thinks TIN holders are able to pay taxes which is why steps have been taken to ensure tax returns are submitted by all TIN holders and requiring a proof of return submission when availing various services.
"In order to ensure homeowners in Dhaka are taxed in the future, they will have to show proof of income tax submission to avail various services such as electricity and gas," he added.
The NBR chairman said the revenue system will be reformed to make it easy for people to pay taxes, which will play a role in changing the face of the country.
Less interest in EFD lottery prizes
The value-added tax (VAT) is collected through electronic fiscal devices during purchases from different businesses and buyers are provided with vouchers.
Each voucher has a unique number. The NBR has been awarding 101 prizes every month through the EFD lottery since 2020 to encourage consumers to pay VAT and save the vouchers.
The NBR chairman himself said on Tuesday there was no interest among the to take the lottery prizes.
Responding to a question from reporters, he said 17 draws have been held so far, of which 17 are first prizes, each worth Tk1 lakh. So far only one person has claimed a first prize. Out of a total of 1,717 prizes, only 95 winners have received their awards so far.
NBR Member Moinul Khan said so far 7,590 EFDs have been installed in Dhaka and Chattogram and an average of Tk50,000 per month is being collected from these companies. If this can be extended across the country, collections will increase further.
However, the NBR chairman said even though EFDs have been installed, they are not being fully used and utilised properly. It is not possible for VAT officers to monitor every company, so buyers too must be aware to ensure VAT is processed.