Graft is a major barrier to getting tax services: study | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 05, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 05, 2016

Graft is a major barrier to getting tax services: study

Corruption, a lack of transparency and complicated processes are the major barriers that prevent taxpayers from getting adequate services from the National Board of Revenue, according to a taxpayers' perception survey.

The study, conducted among 1,200 taxpayers, shows that more than half of the taxpayers find NBR services to be inadequate because of these reasons.

The most popular services received by the respondents were related to filling out tax return forms and the collection of TIN certificates, according to the survey.

An independent firm conducted the survey under the Tax Administration, Compliance and Taxpayer Services (TACTS) project, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID).

The findings of the study were shared in the annual review of TACTS posted on the DFID website.

The survey was carried out in all seven divisions and three commercially vibrant districts -- Bogra, Comilla and Jessore -- in August-September last year.

Data was collected from professionals, businessmen, corporate taxpayers and tax service providers.

A majority of the taxpayers found that the services provided by the NBR significantly improved in the last four to five years, according to the survey.

Some 66.4 percent respondents reported that tax related services were easier, 53 percent said they were more accessible, and 31 percent thought the services were more transparent.

“Taxpayer satisfaction surveys undertaken through an independent professional agency show signs of improved taxpayer satisfaction and incremental improvement in the overall image of the tax department,” said the review.

The study said more than half of the taxpayers reported complete satisfaction with the services while nearly a third of them were partially satisfied.

However, views and opinions on satisfaction also varied with regional orientation, it said, adding that the percentage of taxpayers 'not satisfied' was significantly high in Bogra, Barisal and Dhaka.

Process complicacy, reluctance and inefficiency of tax service providers, and longer queuing time are the most common causes of dissatisfaction.

The study also found that electronic filing of tax identification numbers (e-TIN) has been successful among taxpayers; almost 86 percent of the respondents have e-TINs.

“Dissemination of information about tax payment or services by the NBR is relatively inadequate. More than half of the respondents have not seen any publication, booklet or brochure on such topics,” said the survey. 

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