Fri, Jul 22nd, 2011 11:37 pm BdST
Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Dhaka, July 22 (bdnews24.com) – In a bid to give a push to revenues, the government is going to expand the tax net and catch even fries by creating another 13 tax zones.
Dhaka will get seven new tax zones, while Chittagong, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Mymensingh, Comilla and Bogra will get one each, according to the expansion plan of the National Board of Revenue.
The NBR collected over Tk 750 billion through 303 circle offices under its 18 existing tax zones in the last fiscal year.
This year the revenue target is set at Tk 918 billion, a 22 percent up over the 2010-11 fiscal year. The figure accounts for 10.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The expansion plan says the new 13 zone will have 346 circles to facilitate people's paying tax conveniently and hassle-free.
An NBR study found that less than only 1 percent of the population pays income tax.
The NBR will also increase the number of appeal zones to seven from the existing five to lessen tax-related disputes.
"There are many people, even in the rural areas, who can pay the lowest tax of Tk 2,000 and we want to reach them in addition to the growing industrialised area of Narayanganj, Gazipur and Comilla," said an official of the NBR.
The NBR will set up a centre on taxes information management and research, which will provide analysis for future plan.
The NBR will appoint 899 new officials in the new tax zones.
According to the expansion plan, 15 new tax commissioners and 454 tax inspectors will be appointed in the new zones.
At present, the NBR has over 1200 tax officials.
A research paper of the finance ministry said tax-net needs to be expanded to increase revenue mobilisation.
The paper titled 'State of Bangladesh Economy and Global Financial Crisis: Policy Response' said strengthening tax collection measures and separation of tax policy activities from tax administration are also needed to boost revenue collection.
Finance minister AMA Muhith in his budget speech for 2011-12 fiscal year presented the NBR Modernisation Plan, to be implemented during 2011-16, to increase tax-GDP ratio to 13.
"Since assumption of office, the present government has been paying due attention to bring reforms in NBR. In fact, the NBR has undertaken extensive actions particularly in two areas, i.e., policy/legal reforms and tax administration," he said.
The main objectives of the modernisation plan is raising tax-GDP ratio to 13 by 2016, initiating exemplary modern web-based services for e-registration, e-filing, tax-return and declaration submission, tax payment and rebate within 2016, he said.
The plan also aimed at reducing the number of tax related suits to 80 percent by 2016.