Be friend, not enemy, to taxpayers

FE Report | Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Taxmen should act as friend, not enemy, to taxpayers to promote tax culture, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Tuesday as he stressed enhancing revenue receipts for bigger budget ahead.
He told his audience at a city tax camp that Bangladesh graduated to a middle-income country in 2016 on the basis of per- capita income although the government had set the target for 2021.
"We hope to increase our budget size above Tk 4.5 trillion next fiscal year. Revenue is the main source of earning in our budget," he said while listing different measures for revenue boosting.
The finance minister noted that there is a provision of punishment for the taxmen who are not following the right way while reward for the complaint ones.

Mr Muhith, however, observed that taxmen are now almost well-accepted among the taxpayers and they started acknowledging the service of the tax officials.
He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a three-day income-tax camp and taxpayer-motivation programme arranged by tax zone-3 in Mirpur area.
The finance minister noted with satisfaction that the number of young taxpayers, aged below 40, increased significantly.
"It is a matter of pride that young people are gradually being encouraged on payment of tax," he told the function, adding that the culture has developed in the last eight-nine years.
Mr Muhith also struck another upbeat note on the country's transition from a poor-country status as he said Bangladesh is receiving donor aid but also started supporting other poor countries.
In this context, he said there would be only 7.0 per cent poor people in the country and all others would earn their own living.
And abandoned women, physically challenged people will be among the 7.0 per cent, who will be dependent on state support, he added.
The prime minister also has set a target to turn the country a prosperous one by 2041, he said.
National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman NojiburRahman told the function that the countrywide income-tax programme is going on amid huge enthusiasm.
Income-tax fair will be observed on November 1-7 and income-tax week will start on November 24 ahead of rounding off the tax-return submission in the current fiscal year.
Tax day is November 30, the last day for submission of income-tax returns.
Tax officials are providing hassle-free service, overcoming the entire previous allegations of harassment, the NBR chief said.
Md Elias Uddin Mollah, Member of Parliament from Dhaka-16 constituency, said the existing penalty for non-submission of tax returns should be raised as per income of the taxpayers.
Currently, it is negligible and anyone can afford to pay it, he added.
"Many educated people are still not aware about tax payment. Then, think about the matter for less-educated people," the MP said.
Bring some 50 million taxpayers online to increase tax collection through better monitoring, he suggested.
Tax commissioner of zone-3 Naharn Ferdousi Begum delivered vote of thanks at the programme.
Income tax (tax administration and human resource management) member Abdur Razzaque attended the programme as chief guest.
The tax camp will provide taxpayers services like issuance of e-TIN, receive tax returns, give acknowledged slip of returns, provide tax certificates and other advisory services from September 26 to 28.
Taxpayers under city's Mirpur area are under the jurisdiction of tax zone-3.

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