The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to extend the tax return submission deadline by a month as responses from taxpayers were much lower than expectations.
The deadline has been extended until 31 December this year and taxpayers will not have to pay any fines during this period.
NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem made the announcement during a seminar in Dhaka on Wednesday.
There are more than 80 lakh online Tax Identification Number (e-TIN) holders in the country and around 23 lakh of them filed their tax returns in the last tax year 2021-22.
Officials at the NBR's tax department expect tax returns to cross 40 lakh this year due to a new provision in the relevant law that has made tax return submission proof mandatory for around 40 types of services.
But till 29 November, just a day before the deadline, 22 lakh returns have been submitted, according to NBR sources.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the country's apex trade body, on Tuesday requested the revenue board to extend the deadline for filing tax returns by a month.
The Bangladesh Tax Lawyers Association has also made a similar request to the revenue authority.
Currently, annual income up to Tk3 lakh is exempt from tax. An individual earning more than this is required to submit an income tax return every year.
In the latest budget, the NBR has taken a strict stance on tax return filing. In other words, service providers will face a fine of up to Tk10 lakh if they do not take proof of the tax return submission.
And a regulation has been made making it mandatory for businesses to hang the proof of tax return submission in their business establishments.
As per the existing income tax ordinance, a penalty of 10% of the last tax payable or Tk5,000 is levied if a person fails to file a tax return or seeks time from the deputy commissioner of taxes.
Besides, taxpayers will have to pay a fine of Tk50 per day for the delay.
And even if the time is extended by a deputy commissioner, interest at the rate of 2% per month shall be payable on the applicable income tax.
However, an NBR official said, if the revenue board makes the tax day 31 December instead of 30 November, interest will not be applicable.