Tk 2,000 minimum tax
Taxpayers who have to file returns to avail 38 types of services are likely to be required to pay a minimum tax from next fiscal year, said the finance ministry officials yesterday.
As per the plan, a person will have to pay Tk 2,000 as minimum tax even if he or she claims to have no income, according to the officials.
The tax authority is considering taking up the new measure a year after it made submission of tax returns mandatory for taxpayers seeking to avail services.
The NBR rules say proof of submission of return is needed for services such as getting loans exceeding Tk 500,000 from a bank or financial institution, becoming a director or a sponsor shareholder of a company and using an import or export registration certificate.
The proof will also be needed to secure or renew a trade licence in city corporations or municipalities and get the registration of a co-operative society.
Among others, the proof is also necessary for obtaining or maintaining a credit card, opening postal savings accounts exceeding Tk 500,000 or purchasing state sponsored savings instruments, known as "sanchaypatra" in Bangla, of over Tk 500,000.
People who open and continue using bank accounts of any sort with a credit balance of over Tk 10 lakh are also needed to submit tax returns and submit acknowledgement receipts or tax certificates, among others.
As per the plan, a person will have to pay Tk 2,000 as minimum tax even if he or she claims to have no income, according to officials
Officials said this section of registered taxpayers may be required to pay a minimum tax from the next fiscal year of 2023-24 if they have no income or they earn below the threshold of annual income where the tax rate is zero.
Officials said the ceiling of the zero-tax rate for personal income may be increased to Tk 350,000 from the next fiscal year, which begins in July, from Tk 300,000 at present.
So, the plan, if passed in parliament, will require most registered taxpayers to pay the minimum tax if their income fall below the zero-tax rate, popularly known as tax-free income ceiling.
"We are considering the move to expand the tax base and create a tax culture in the country. In many countries such as the US, there is a practice of a token tax," said a senior official seeking anonymity.
Bangladesh has more than 85 lakh registered taxpayers or taxpayer identification number (TIN) holders.
However, as of December 2022, around 28.51 lakh submitted returns for the current fiscal year, according to the National Board of Revenue.
The official, however, said they were taking steps so that taxpayers get refunds of excess tax payments to their bank accounts automatically.
If there is any suspicious claim of refund, a tax file may come under audit, the official added.