Budget amnesty helps boost tax filing

Strong points:

  • Submission of tax return in July 2021: 14,743
    In July 2022: 50,532

  • NBR hopes to add another 15 lakh TIN holders in FY23

  • There are over 78,60,000 TIN holders in the country

  • Last year, submitting tax returns was 29 lakh

  • Tax declaration is mandatory to obtain 50 types of services

(Sources: BNR, fiscal year 2022-23 budget speech)

Tax return submissions in the country increased by 242% year-on-year in the first month of the current 2022-23 fiscal year, thanks to a budget amnesty for TIN holders who never filed their returns of income.

Data obtained from the National Board of Revenue (NBR) shows that the number of tax return submissions stood at 50,532 in July this year, compared to 14,743 in the same month a year ago.

According to the national budget for fiscal year 23, people who have a tax identification number (TIN) but who have never filed a tax return will be exempt from paying fines for previous years if they file returns in the during this exercise.

NBR officials said the government in this year’s budget proposed the amnesty to encourage TIN holders to submit tax returns. Previously, these TIN holders had to pay a minimum fine of Tk 5,000 for not submitting a declaration in previous years.

Officials expect the facility to help bring another 15 lakh TIN holders under the tax net by this fiscal year.

Experts believe such a move was positive and timely to increase revenue and help ensure discipline in the country’s financial sector, as many people, despite their TINs, had been reluctant to file tax returns for fear of harassment. and fines.

At present, the number of e-TIN holders in the country stands at 78.61 lakh, while only 29 lakh submitted their tax returns in the last fiscal year.

It is compulsory for people with more than 2,50,000 Tk of annual income to benefit from the e-TIN.

In addition, filing tax returns has been made mandatory for people to obtain around 37 services, while three categories are exempt from filing tax returns but must have an e-TIN.

Sources from the NBR Income Tax Department said they could not trace 26 lakh TIN holders and these people were categorized as “TINs suspended, not cancelled”.

In the future, if they use services integrated with the income tax department, they will be identified.

Until two years ago, only those with taxable income were required to file returns. Currently, all TIN holders are required to submit their declarations. However, return deposits are not growing at the expected rate.

In addition to individual taxpayers, the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Companies (RJSC) has about 1.75 lakh registered companies, of which less than 30,000 submit returns.

In his budget speech for FY23, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, “The number of middle class and above population is about 40 million in our country but most of them do not pay income tax, therefore necessary measures are taken to prevent tax evasion and to bring all people who have taxable income under the tax net.”

“We are working towards increasing the number of TIN holders to 10 million, and over the past four years the number of TIN holders has grown by an average of over one million per year. As of April 2022, we were able to increase the number of TIN holders to 75.10 lakh. At the same time, by March 2022, the number of tax declarations increased to 29 lakh.”

“We are working to simplify tax returns to make them easily understandable and in one page for individual taxpayers. Apart from that, the submission of returns will be made 35 mandatory for everyone except a few cases,” he said. he adds.