"We are all set to launch e-payment service in the income tax payments this year with an aim to ease the tax payment process", said Kanon Kumar Roy, member of National Board of Revenue (Tax Information Management and Services), in an interview with Dhaka Tribune's Belal Muntasir.
Roy also talked about the current situation and challenges regarding income tax collection.
Why e-payment is important in tax collection?
The e-payment service will be launched at the income tax fair which begins today. Taxpayers will be able to use it all the time and we hope the new electronic payment system will ease the tax payments process.
The concept of e-payment system was conceived in 2012 for the first time. But it was not properly implemented then due to technological lacking. Besides, there were limited options.
Now we have brought huge development for the system and integrated all the necessary technologies. We included all debit, credit and other bank cards, and mobile financial services (MFS) such as Bkash, Rocket, Nagad in the e-payment system.
Hopefully, the system will be popular this time.
How taxpayers will be benefited from this service?
Through the e-payment system, the taxpayer will be able to pay their taxes using only their cards or mobile wallets, instead of going to banks.
One can complete the payment procedure with the help of our website (www.nbrepayment.gov.bd), or directly from mobile wallets.
For the e-payment, taxpayers do not need any registration. After assessment on security threat, we made the system stress-free as much as possible.
E-payment is completely a hassle-free procedure. One can make the payments anytime from anywhere.
The number of TIN holder is increasing rapidly but the amount of tax collection is not rising proportionately. Why?
Actually, all TIN (Tax Identification Number) holders are not taxpayers. The government made TIN mandatory as requirement for some cases such as opening bank accounts. Besides, individuals having Tk16,000 monthly basic salary or above are also TIN holders.
But many of them (TIN holders) have no taxable income. We consider such TIN holders as potential taxpayers or future taxpayers while they are already in tax net.
However, the number of real taxpayer is also increasing day by day.
The government has a plan to raise number of taxpayers to one crore. How to achieve the target?
We are working to raise the taxpayers' number. A tax survey is already underway to bring the people, having taxable income but not paying the tax, into the tax net.
For widening the tax net, our first target is the electricity meter holders in the capital, other cities and municipal areas. The meter holders are actually flat owners. We have observed that they have taxable income but not paying the taxes.
Hopefully with continuous drive, we will achieve a good number of taxpayers.
Besides, the NBR is planning to expand its offices to upazila levels to achieve the target.
What are the challenges in income tax collection?
Many people do not pay tax simply because they are not aware that it is their duty to do so. Besides, many are afraid of paying tax. These are the main challenges in income tax collection and we have to address those properly.
However, this culture is now changing day by day. We are encouraging people in many ways so that they willingly pay taxes.
Income tax fair across the country is a great example of that. The number of participants in the fair is rising every year. Besides, we have shortage of manpower, for which we cannot monitor tax collection properly.
The government has already taken an initiative to increase the manpower in the sector. Hopefully, we will get more employees soon.