“Everyone has to pay tax as compulsory. No matter what the amount is...it can be Tk5, Tk10 or Tk20,” he said.
The minister made the comment while addressing a seminar on “Payroll Tax and Tax Net Expansion” at Officers Club in Dhaka.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) organised the seminar presided over by its Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman.
“Initiatives should be taken to make tax payment mandatory for everyone with taxable income,” the minister said, adding that it, however, will require time for implementation.
About the payroll tax, Muhith said: “Contribution of payroll tax is 30% in different countries, but it is only 4%-5% in Bangladesh. The public servants pay the payroll tax. It is not familiar in the private sector and we need to give focus on this.”
He again expressed his frustration over the poor number of income tax payers in the country.
“In a country of 16 crore people, not even 16 lakh are paying tax. It is only 12 lakh who are paying tax, but people with capacity of paying income tax are much higher in the country,” he said.
If the actual number of millionaires can be found, the number of taxpayers will rise significantly, he added.
Speaking at the seminar, Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh Masud Ahmed said income tax is a progressive taxation system and it is a legal liability of people with taxable income to pay tax.
“But many people do not pay the tax despite having such income,” he said, stressing the need for revenue friendly culture in the country to develop the scenario.
Policy Research Institute Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur and NBR member Zia Uddin Mahmood also spoke at the event.