A total of 2,133 shops were visited in Dhaka and its outskirts, and only 482 were found to have registered to pay VAT
As businesses brace for festival-based revenue amid markets and shopping malls reopening from Thursday, a survey by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has shown that 60% of shops in the capital do not pay their taxes.
According to the survey conducted by the VAT Intelligence Department from May 24-31, a total of 2,133 shops were visited in Dhaka and its outskirts, and only 482 were found to have registered business identification numbers (BIN).
This means that the remaining 1,651 establishments did not pay their taxes, a whopping 77.36%.
This also implies that even if they took value added tax (VAT) from customers, it was not deposited in the state coffers.
Meanwhile, 428 out of 1,064 shops from eight upscale shopping malls in the capital paid taxes, 40% of the capital's total, leaving 60% out of the tax net.
Surveyed shopping malls in the capital included Suvastu Nazar Valley Shopping Mall at Shahjadpur, Ananya Shopping Centre at Baridhara DOHS, Navana Tower at Gulshan 1, RAK Shopping Complex and Tropical Alauddin Tower at Uttara, Sunrise Plaza and Orchard Point at Dhanmondi, and Tokyo Square Shopping Mall at Mohammadpur.
Others included City Centre and New Market in Savar, Mark Tower, Sayem Plaza, Al Hakim Centre and Cooperative New Market in Narayanganj, Hossain Plaza in Demra, and Index Plaza and Zaman Shopping Complex in Narsingdi.
It is learned that only 26 out of 526 businesses of Suvastu Nazar Valley Shopping Mall, which is more than a decade old, have registered to pay VAT.
Of the 55 shops at Sunrise Plaza in Dhanmondi, only 25 have BIN registration.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune recently, NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul had said: "We want to stop the cat and mouse game between tax evaders and revenue collectors. We want businesspersons and the general people to voluntarily pay their taxes. We have taken several steps for this.
Our officials are making everyone aware about VAT. Besides, they are working hard to collect revenue from those institutions. Hopefully, if VAT's electronic fiscal device (EFD) can be installed at all the establishments, it will be possible to solve a lot of this problem," he added.
In Narsingdi, VAT Intelligence officers obtained information that only 41 out of 451 business establishments from two shopping malls have VAT registration.
Only 1 shop out of 228 establishments of Index Plaza, and none of the 20 companies of Zaman Shopping Complex have VAT registration.
On the other hand, in Narayanganj, of the 366 shops, only 17, or 5% of the total 366 shops have VAT registration.
Only 1 of the 31 shops in the Mark Tower and 1 of the 81 shops in the Cooperative New Market paid VAT.
Besides, only 8 out of 16 shops at Haji Hossain Plaza in Demra were found with VAT registration.