The National Board of Revenue has ordered field offices to identify the reasons behind the continued mismatch of its tax collection figure with that of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
The field offices of tax and VAT (value added tax) were directed to submit reports to the headquarters by March 27, according to a decision taken at a meeting at the NBR on Tuesday.
At the meeting, NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan ordered the field offices to sit with the CGA to verify revenue collection and deposit data by accessing the Integrated Budget and Accounting System (IBAS) of the finance division.
The IBAS financial management software is used for functions such as budget preparation and accounting of all receipts and payments of the government.
The move came after it was found that revenue collection figures showed by the NBR were Tk 13,492 crore higher than the data shown by the CGA in the fiscal year of 2016-17.
The gap has widened in recent years. For example, it was Tk 5,819 crore in 2012-13.
The NBR posted 19 percent year-on-year growth to Tk 185,003 crore in revenue collection in 2016-17, higher than the revised collection target of Tk 185,000 crore for the fiscal year.
By contrast, the CGA, which is responsible for compilation and consolidation of government accounts, recorded Tk 171,510 crore as the NBR's collection for the year.
The revenue board recorded a collection of Tk 75,308 crore in July-November of 2017-18 whereas it was Tk 72,928 crore as per CGA data, according to the monthly fiscal report of the finance ministry and the NBR data.
At Tuesday's meeting, heads of the field offices said the discrepancy originates from factors such as duplication in recording of same chalans by more than one commissionerates as well as counting of collections twice: first, on the basis of an expected amount from a taxpayer and second, after receiving the actual chalan.
Officials said source tax collections are not properly deposited to the treasury.
A senior official of the NBR, seeking anonymity, said there is a tendency among a section of field level officials to show inflated collection figure in order to receive appreciation from high-ups about their performance.
At the meeting, Bhuiyan instructed the field offices not to show collection data without actual treasury chalans and inform respective field offices in case the tax is deposited to the accounts of another field office.
He also directed the field offices to deposit the pay orders issued by taxpayers in the quickest possible time to the treasury, according to the minutes of the meeting.