The NBR, in order to carry out its task with efficacy, should be empowered with the resources and the authority it requires
It is good to see the National Board of Revenue planning to launch a mobile app to not just increase the number of tax-payers in the country, but to also prevent tax evasion.
The number of people in Bangladesh who pay their taxes is still extremely low, and efforts to up the tax take by making the process easier are admirable; and the mobile app initiative certainly goes well with our vision of a technologically forward nation.
Widening the tax base, however, is a bigger challenge that comes with deeper complications that need to be addressed by the government.
For example, a more efficient means of tax collection, digital or not, will not be effective if people continue to lack faith in the system.
There is plenty of apprehension in the country surrounding taxes, which can be attributed to the perception that high levels of corruption plague our administration, especially at lower levels; hence, ordinary citizens feel as though there is no guarantee that their hard-earned money will go towards the betterment of the nation, and not end up in the pocket of an unscrupulous bureaucrat.
This ingrained scepticism regarding taxes should be addressed head on, and the fears of the public should be allayed.
The NBR, in order to carry out its task with efficacy, should be empowered with the resources and the authority it requires, and the process of paying taxes, which can often be needlessly confusing, should be demystified, with unnecessary hoops taken out of the process.
An efficiently functioning tax system is the foundation of any successful economy, and while Bangladesh has made admirable strides in many areas in recent years, when it comes to the tax collection, it has its work cut out.