The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has taken up a massive plan to hunt the people with over Tk1 crore in the country to bring them under the tax net after conducting a fresh countrywide survey on them.
The revenue authorities undertook the plan, as the number of rich taxpayers is very low if compared with the actual number of rich people in the country.
The NBR plans for the initiative after instructions from Prime Ministers Office, and ministries of Finance and Commerce, according to sources.
A letter from the high authorities has asked the NBR to conduct a survey to bring the rich people under the tax net to boost the internal revenue collection.
Currently, NBR don’t have any updated list on how many people in the country have over Tk1 crore despite that the number of such people is increasing.
There were 4,303 people having Tk2 crore in 2011, 4,865 people in 2012, 5,145 people in 2013, 5,329 people in 2014 and 6,761 people in 2015, according to NBR data based on income tax returns filed by taxpayers.
NBR officials said: “The individuals having assets like cars and houses are almost twice the number of existing taxpayers, but bringing them under the tax net remain always a challenging job.”
Explaining the reasons behind the poor number, NBR officials stated that the rich people showed huge bank loans and other liabilities in their income tax returns to pay less tax.
Most of the taxpayers file their income tax returns by calculating their wealth based on registered value of land and apartments that are very low if compared to actual market price, they added.
According to NBR plan, the officials will be divided into various teams and will visit from the city corporation areas to the union parishads to find out such rich people. The teams will collect info on movable and immovable properties belonging to such people.
Once the survey is completed, the NBR will start bringing such people under the tax net.
The current tax collection scenario of the country is very much disappointing as less than 1% of the population pays tax in the country. Although the number of individual taxpayers is around 18 lakh in the country, however only 12 lakh of them files tax returns regularly.
The NBR team will also seek assistance and collect data from Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, and from Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh to figure out the rich people’s number.
According to government data till January, there are 1,14,265 bank accounts in the country belonging to people having over Tk1crore. The number of such bank accounts has increased by 36,000 in the last four years.
The numbers were 78,150 in 2011, 90,655 in 2012 and 98,591 in 2013, and 108,974 in 2014.