• Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:21 pm

NBR wants to tax external income of doctors and lawyers

  • Published at 08:28 pm September 1st, 2021
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) office in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) office in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Doctors and lawyers are advised to ask for a money receipt in exchange for the services provided from now on, to get an accurate account of the money taken from the service recipients

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is trying to get an accurate account of doctors and lawyers’ income. They even asked for the advice of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to resolve this issue.  

Doctors and lawyers have been paying income tax as they wish for a long time now, with the NBR not having proper accounts in their hands about their external income.

The ACC has recently sent a letter to NBR, expressing its suggestions and recommendations.

The letter sent by the ACC to the NBR chairman requested that actions be taken under the Income Tax Ordinance of 1984 to impose a tax on the income of lawyers and doctors.

In addition, doctors and lawyers are advised to ask for a money receipt in exchange for the services provided from now on, to get an accurate account of the money taken from the service recipients.

According to NBR sources, it does not have any specific information about the doctors and lawyers who do not have a TIN. As a result, these two categories of specialised professionals have been hiding their real income for a long time.

An NBR official told Dhaka Tribune that the income of the two professionals was not yet clear to everyone. Although they are among the highest educated class in society, most of them have a tendency to evade income tax. 

“We also agree with ACC’s advice. The decision may come soon with the final instructions on keeping money receipts for outdoor earnings in these two professions,” the source said.

ACC Secretary Anwar Hossain Hawlader told the media: “We want doctors and lawyers to accept the money they receive from clients through receipts. In this way, it will be easier for NBR to keep track of their income.”

Confirming the letter, the ACC secretary also added that it would make it easier to update the tax file. The government's revenue will increase. This is an observation of the commission. “A letter has been sent to NBR informing them about this,” he said. 

Economist and financial adviser to the former caretaker government AB Mirza Azizul Islam also agreed with the NBR and the ACC advice. 

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, he said that lawyers and doctors earn a good amount of money by serving clients outside their primary job location. 

“However, they are not interested in paying proper income tax from this money. The government has been indifferent about this for so long. In this way, a large amount of money becomes undisclosed income,” AB Mirza Azizul said. 

“Since lawyers and doctors accept money without a receipt, there is no way to know whether the actual income information is coming in their income tax returns,” he added.

According to the NBR’s latest data, out of 5.6 million taxpayers who have registered in the FY2020-21, 31.69 million taxpayers did not file income tax returns. 

It means, 56.60% of the registered taxpayers did not file tax returns.

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