They said during the workshop that the tax burden on businesses is increasing due to a lack of opportunities for advance income tax (AIT) adjustments
National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem in a discussion said that achieving the goal of increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio was challenging, especially with the ongoing pressure to reduce taxes in various sectors.
Speaking at a workshop organized by Bangladesh Customs, he highlighted the need to reduce taxes on essential goods as their prices rise but also cited the lack of discussion regarding the increasing costs of non-taxed products.
Muneem pointed out that NBR was losing substantial revenue due to tax deductions, with no thorough research being conducted in this area.
He acknowledged the difficulty in immediately boosting the tax-to-GDP ratio due to the existing limited tax base and stated that the aim is not to eliminate all tax exemptions but to review them to control unjustified ones.
During the event, business leaders voiced concerns about the challenges they face due to various NBR policies.
Mohammad Hatem, executive president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, noted that the tax burden on businessmen was increasing due to the lack of opportunities for advance income tax (AIT) adjustments.
Syed Mushfequr Rahman, commissioner at the Chittagong VAT Commissionerate and the leader of the Medium and Long-term Revenue Strategy (MLTRS) preparation committee, presented a paper outlining the MLTRS plan, which outlined NBR’s strategy for increasing revenue collection and compliance over the next 5-10 years.
He also highlighted that goods do not experience significant delays at ports due to the customs department, as they are responsible for only 7% of such delays, with other departments being responsible for the remainder.
Mohammad Fyzur Rahman, Chittagong Custom House commissioner, explained that customs rarely hold up goods at the port for testing unless there are specific instructions in the Import Policy requiring scrutiny.
The workshop also featured contributions from Md Masud Sadiq, a member of customs policy and IT; Zakia Sultana, a member of VAT policy; Zaidi Sattar, chairman of the Policy Research Institute; and Md Tariq Hassan, additional commissioner of Chattogram Customs House, among others.
Source: Dhaka Tribune.