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Mandatory use of T challan likely for tax payment

Syful Islam | March 20, 2018 12:00:00

The government is considering making the use of treasury challan mandatory for tax payment to avoid delay usually made in encashment of pay orders, demand drafts and account payee cheques, officials said.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has been asked to take preparations to fulfil the government's desire as non-receipt of revenue in time forces it to take loans to meet its needs and pay a huge amount of money as interest, they added.

According to sources, a recent meeting of the cash and debt management committee (CDMC), chaired by finance secretary in-charge Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, was told that many income tax officials do not deposit pay orders, demand drafts and account payee cheques in the month when they collect those.

The revenue officials held up the instruments in most cases as their performance is evaluated on a monthly basis. In such case, they also follow the trend of government's cash transactions whether the government is in need of money or not.

In the meeting, Mr Chowdhury said though there is no scope for fraudulent activities by using pay orders, in some cases those are not encashed timely.

As a result, he said, if the government faces cash money shortage, it is forced to take loans to meet needs which have involvement of a significant amount of interest payment.

Such practice is a violation of the constitution of the country as well as the financial rules and regulations, he said.

Mr Chowdhury also said since treasury challan can now be verified online, there is no scope for making fraud with the instruments. Besides, the bank customers do not need to spend huge time to get treasury challan in hand since the banks are now automated and officials work very fast.

"If treasury challan can be made mandatory for revenue collection, the government will be able to avoid paying additional loan of interest and the accounting system will be easier and transparent."

According to officials, the government has already taken initiative to prepare e-challan portal. Once the portal is ready, any taxpayers will be able to make tax payment through online challan.

An official of the revenue board said people, including public officials who pay a small amount of money as tax, are interested to use cheques instead of treasury challan for making payment.

Apart from treasury challan, the scope for paying taxes through other ways is also kept open considering their interests, he said.

He also said income tax payment through treasury challan will be made mandatory, once income tax department and relevant other offices are adequately equipped with necessary technology.

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