The National Board of Revenue (NBR) plans to launch Taxpayers Call Centres (TCLs) to help them in getting instant reply of any queries on the new Value Added Tax (VAT) law.
The new Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act, 2012 will come into effect from July, 2016 where VAT payers will have a good number of queries to cope up with the new system, said officials concerned.
They also hoped that the centre would enhance taxpayers’ services through providing all kind of information relating to the new law.
There will be centralised point of contact for the taxpayers who require either general information about their obligations under the new VAT law or need specific inquiries over their VAT compliance matter.
The call centres will work to help and encourage VAT payers in transition to new automated online system from the existing manual paper-based system, they added.
As per NBR plan, VAT payers will be able to obtain the services from Dhaka and 12 other VAT commissionerates across the country where the centre will be established under the banner “VAT Online Service Center”.
The parliament in 2012 had passed the Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act to automate the overall VAT administration to increase the revenue collection.
Following the initiative, the tax authorities in 2013 undertook the VAT Online Project to ensure a client-friendly and a service-oriented automated system.
Existing and potential new taxpayers will be able to call directly to any of the call centres for any queries relating to VAT, excise and turnover tax once it comes into effect under the VAT Online System.
The NBR is scheduled to start online VAT registration from July 1, 2016 and is expected that the all the procedures including registration, payment, return filing, refund, legal actions under new VAT act will go online.
The NBR considers the contact center service as complementary and critical to the successful launch of VAT Online facilities, said a NBR high official.
“Taxpayers will need more time to seek assistance for adopting the new process. The contact centre will work for characterising the revenue authorities’ service-oriented ambitions through supporting VAT payers resolving the problems,” he said.
An outsourcing call centre provider will be assigned to manage all the contact messages both incoming and outgoing, according to the plan.
“It will also be responsible for dealing with multi-channel messaging, single nationwide number and short code, contact handling, integration with Integrated VAT Administration System (IVAS) for customer relationship management and taxpayers account inquiries,” reads the plan.