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Shortfall forces NBR to consider trimming tax collection target

Gap reaches Tk 175 billion in seven months

Doulot Akter Mala | April 08, 2018 00:00:00

The government is considering chopping its tax revenue collection target by nearly Tk 280 billion after the receipt dropped in the seven months to February.

The National Board of Revenue's tax collection shortfall reached Tk 175.12 billion in July-February period of the current financial year.

To achieve the cumulative tax collection target of Tk 2.48 trillion, the board requires achieving 45 per cent growth in receipt compared to that of the actual collection of the last fiscal's Tk 1.71 trillion.

Talking to the FE Saturday, board chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the target of the revenue collection would be revised downward to Tk 2.20 trillion or Tk 2.25 trillion, terming the existing goal 'ambitious'.

"We would be happy if the tax revenue collection target grew by 25 per cent this year," he said.

He said the revenue collection usually got pace in the last quarter (April-June) of a financial year and the shortfall would be minimised in that period.

Still, he said achieving the target in some areas might not be possible as aggregate target was much higher than that of the actual tax revenue collection of the fiscal year 2017.

Economic growth and inflation determine the revenue collection growth, he said.

"Despite this, we sometimes try to achieve the target seriously," the board boss added.

The NBR collected Tk 1.26 trillion tax revenue in the first eight months of the current fiscal achieving 15.64 per cent growth over the year-earlier period.

The tax collection shortfall was Tk 148 billion and Tk 126.22 billion until January and December respectively.

Income tax, customs and Value Added Tax (VAT) wing missed their respective tax revenue collection targets in the July-February period, according to a provisional data of the NBR.

Income tax wing faced the highest shortfall by Tk 69.97 billion, followed by VAT wing by Tk 69.41 billion and customs by Tk 35.75 billion, the data said.

Income tax wing also posted poor growth of 12.72 per cent compared to VAT wing 17.72 per cent and customs Tk 15.92 per cent over the corresponding period of the last year.

Tax collection growth rate also slipped in the July-February compared with that of the corresponding period's growth of 19.59 per cent.

However, the average revenue collection growth in the last five years was 14.28 per cent.

Officials said the overall economy needs to perform better along with the implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP), export-import, profit earning of the large corporate entities to achieve higher growth in tax collection.

ADP implementation was 33 per cent of the total original size of the allocation at Tk 1.64 trillion for the year.

Also, sluggish profit growth of the commercial banks affected corporate tax collection, which usually contributes a major part of income tax collection, officials said.

The NBR has a large chunk of tax arrears with the large taxpayers including country's telecom operators, state-owned Petrobangla, and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.

The NBR chairman said that steps have been taken to realise the outstanding taxes.

"Some large taxpayers are evading taxes and blocked the assessed tax demand of the taxmen by lodging cases," he said.

"I have personally talked with chief justice and attorney general in this regard," he said.

The chief justice has sought a list of the pending revenue cases and the NBR is proceeding towards that, he added.


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