The National Board of Revenue today started piloting of its one tax filing system in two tax zones with the aim to open the scope of electronic tax return preparation and submission from November 1 this year.
“This is a big stride in our effort to take Bangladesh forward,” State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan said while inaugurating the piloting of the tax return filing for Tax Zone-4 at a programme in Dhaka.
Apart from Tax Zone 4, the NBR also launched piloting of the online tax filing system in Tangail in the run up to open the system for all taxpayers.
The tax authority said the online return filing scope will be launched marking the weeklong tax fair from November 1 to 7.
The annual show, which has got popularity since its beginning in 2010, will take place at the under-construction headquarters of the NBR at Agargaon in Dhaka.
“It is a step to ease the tax payment system. Taxpayers will not have to visit tax offices. They will get the scope to submit their returns sitting at home,” said NBR Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman at the programme.
Taxpayers will be able to prepare their annual income and expenditure statements and submit online, once the portal, www.etaxnbr.gov.bd is opened for all.
After preparing statements, they will get the scope to print the prepared returns. They will get confirmation or acknowledgement receipts of their tax returns from the authority electronically.
Taxpayers will get tax payment certificates electronically, said NBR Member Kalipada Halder, who is project director of the scheme to introduce e-tax filing system.
They will also be able to view their profile as taxpayers and their filing history. To assist taxpayers in filing return, there will be support and service centre, said Halder
The automation will also enable taxmen to easily monitor the trend of tax return submission and tax payments.
Taxmen at any field office will be able to see the number of tax return submitted after the deadline of return submission, according to the NBR.
Also, tax files for audit will be selected automatically based on criteria set by the NBR, said Halder.
To file tax return online, a taxpayer will need to get the password by filing separate form posted on the website.
However, not all taxpayer will get the scope to pay tax online as an online transaction from one bank account to another account is yet put in place. The NBR said taxpayers will be able to submit challans as proof of their tax payment and submit their return.
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Mannan said the system will be more effective when taxpayers will be able to pay tax electronically and get respite from visiting banks to pay tax.
“ The same difficulty will continue without electronic payment,” said Mannan.
NBR Chairman Rahman said they are working to ensure electronic tax payment.
The NBR said the introduction of online system will increase transparency and accountability, improve compliance and thus boost tax collection. It will also enable tax administration to remain up-to-date on the latest tax collection status.
To automate the whole tax administration and tax system, the NBR took the e-filing of tax returns initiative in 2011 at a cost of Tk 78.98 crore. Of the amount, Tk 12.98 crore came from government funds and the rest from the Asian Development Bank.
The tax authority has already brought its tax offices under one network as part of the objective of automation. It has also set up a data centre, along with a data recovery centre at Bangladesh Computer Council.
The deadline for individuals to submit income tax returns is November 30, which is now called Tax Day. Taxpayers will have to pay penalty if they do not submit returns on or before the deadline, the NBR said.
Taxmen said they have already accommodated the current fiscal year's income tax-related changes in the software to introduce the e-filing system.