The revenue board has deferred the implementation of online VAT returns system until January 01, 2018 to avoid legal complexities due to absence of new VAT rules.
The online VAT returns system was scheduled to be launched from November 01, 2017.
A senior VAT official said introduction of the online VAT returns system will need legal support in the existing VAT Law-1991.
"The provision of online VAT returns is incorporated in new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012. The tax authority needs to frame a new rule to give legal backup under the existing VAT law," he added.
The NBR has deferred the implementation of new law by two years until 2019.
The VAT wing of the NBR already drafted new rules that also obtained approval from Finance Minister AMA Muhith.
Before finalisation of the rules, the VAT working group will discuss new rules with the leaders of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
"As per instructions of the government's high-ups, we have sought representation of four FBCCI members for compiling their opinions on new VAT rules," the official said.
Initially, online VAT returns will be made available on a pilot basis for 156 large taxpayers under the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU).
Currently, the VAT online project is interacting with large businesses to build awareness and encourage online VAT returns.
Out of 800,000 Business Identification Numbers (BINs), there are some 34,000 businesses who submit VAT returns regularly.
Once new VAT rules get approval, the businesses will receive new VAT return forms to submit VAT returns online.
The draft rule is likely to be sent to the law ministry next month for its vetting after completion of discussions with the business leaders.
'Harassment' by VAT offices will be reduced after introduction of the online VAT returns system. The VAT online project (VoP) is working on introduction of the online VAT returns system.
However, businesses will also be allowed to submit manual returns if they want.
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