The NBR introduced the smart cards during last year’s tax fair
The machine-generated smartcard issued to regular taxpayers has no practical use/except keeping in a cardholder or preserving at home.
The NBR in last year’s income tax fair introduced the smartcard for the first time to regular taxpayers, which drew huge enthusiasm among them. The card, valid for one year was given to Bangladesh ambassadors thinking it to be unique and exclusive innovation.
However, the authority concerned is considering not issuing the cards to regular taxpayers in the upcoming income tax fair.
The cards contained the taxpayer’s name, identification number (TIN) of taxpayer and quick response (QR) code, could be obtained after filing income tax returns at the fair venues in three division like Sylhet, Chittagong and Dhaka. The authority also issued the cards after the fair from its field-level tax offices.
Although the taxpayers considered the card as recognition of their tax payments and a matter of pride, some questions raised about its effectiveness.
Earlier taxpayers also demanded to give it a legal status so that they could use it as a tax payment certificate.
The revenue board had also created a wide propaganda about the card and even secured the copyright of the card as a creative innovation. The copyright office of the cultural affairs ministry granted the NBR the exclusive rights for use and distribution of the card on November 30, 2017.
Later, the NBR officially handed over the tax card to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other dignitaries. More then 91,000 income tax ID cards were distributed alone during the tax fair in Dhaka.
The NBR issued around one lakh ID cards to taxpayers in the last financial year. The government also spent around crores of Taka to make the plan a success.
This year the income tax fair will be held from November 13 to 19 across the country. The authorities will continue to honour the highest taxpayers with crests and certificates.
In this year, NBR authorities considering distributing tax cards, crests and certificates among the regular tax payers at the fair.
The revenue board, in a recent preparatory meeting on the upcoming national income tax fair discussed about scrapping the project, the decision would be finalised shortly, they added.
According to a senior tax official, the annual show, which has achieved much popularity since its inception, is expected to draw more attention this time from different quarters.
The NBR collected Tk 22170 million in taxes at the last year’s tax fair which is 4.12% more that is Tk 22102 million more in 2016.
According to NBR data, as of June 2018, there are about 3.5 million TIN holders, of which about 1.95 million submitted tax returns in the last fiscal year. The tax-GDP ratio of the country is little above 10% as of June, 2017.
Ziauddin Mahmud, member (Tax administration and Human Resources Management) of the NBR, told Dhaka Tribune: “We will organize the fair to make aware people and increase taxpaying culture. We are trying to introduce new things to educate taxpayers about taxation policies and tax return method through broadcasting audios and videos.”
“Actually we hold such fair only to motivate people, especially the new taxpayers. Everybody will pay tax as per law. Our main aim is to build up a good relation with tax payers.
“We will formally inform you whether the tax ID cards would be scraped or not about 10-15 days before holding of the fair. We are considering to o abate hassle of the taxpayers so that they can file tax returns easily,” he added.