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Dhaka Tribune

DCCI urges widening tax net to boost tax-GDP ratio

DCCI placed a total of 40 budget recommendations this year for the consideration of the government

Update : 15 Feb 2024, 10:40 AM

DCCI hopes that the next budget will emphasize on easy and business friendly tax management, widening tax and vat net, full automation of taxation system, encouraging local industrialization and ensuring investment friendly environment in the country.   

President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Ashraf Ahmed placed the Chamber’s budget recommendations for the FY2024-25 to the Chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR) Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem at the NBR headquarter on February 14, 2024. 

DCCI placed a total of 40 budget recommendations this year for the consideration of the government.  

DCCI President Ashraf Ahmed said that about 3.2 million TIN holders out of 10 million submitted their returns last year. He also said that there is no alternative but to increase the tax net across the country to increase direct revenue. 

Some of the key recommendations included an amendment to Clause 70 regarding the adjustment of business loss from total income where he suggested restoring the same clause of the Income Tax Ordinance 1984 that allows a businessman to adjust losses with other sources of income. At present, a businessman has to pay extra tax. In addition, he suggested amendment of Section 162, and allow AIT to be adjusted on future dates.   

He also suggested removal of taxes on Provident Fund, Gratuity Fund, Superannuation Fund and Pension Fund to give the benefits to the private sector service holders likewise the public sector employees.  

In order to reduce the cost of borrowing from foreign funds for the private sector, he recommended the withdrawal of source tax imposed on installments of foreign loans as It may discourage inbound FDI inflow and normal credit flow to the private sector, he added. 

Ashraf Ahmed also proposed an Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) like Integrated VAT Administration System (IVAS) to ensure a full automation of the taxation system. It is expected to help attract more tax payers. At present, VAT free annual turnover ceiling is Tk3 crore and the turnover tax is 4%. He further suggested to increase the ceiling up to at least Tk4 crore considering inflation and increased goods supply cost. 

In addition, removal of restrictions on Input VAT would be welcome as such restrictions can increase tax burdens to unsustainable levels.  

He also recommended withdrawing VAT deducted at source during the distribution of locally produced solar panels. It increases the product price of this sector. If this source VAT is withdrawn, more investment will come to this renewable energy sector. 

Importers have to pay a 5% advance tax during the time of import according to VAT and SD Act 2012. Though this advance tax is refundable, businessmen sometimes face regulatory difficulties in getting this refund on time. 

DCCI President, hence requested the NBR to waive it or expedite the refund process. 

NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said NBR always formulates policies and guidelines bearing in mind increasing the revenue, curbing money laundering, local industry development and protection of local market as well as sustainable environment protection. He later urges the business community to inform NBR regarding their problems and challenges they are facing in doing business. 

NBR will act accordingly to help the business community as businesses are the main engine of our economic growth, he opined. He also said that NBR is committed to formulate new policy or policy reforms if needed and required by the businessmen.

DCCI Senior Vice-President Malik Talha Ismail Bari, Vice-President Md Junaed Ibna Ali were also present during the meeting.

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