NBR introduces lottery to boost VAT collection
Buying a product from a store could help you win Tk 100,000.
Sounds bizarre? Well you do have the chance to win this amount after buying any product or seeking any service if you collect a receipt generated from the Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD), a kind of cash register, as proof of payment to the retailer.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) announced this prize along with 100 more prizes on Sunday to encourage buyers to ask sellers for receipts against purchases.
The revenue authority made the move with an aim to boost value added tax (VAT) collection from retail and plug the scope for people to evade this charge.
With the lowest amount being Tk 10,000, the prizes, a first time-initiative by the NBR, will be distributed every month based on VAT receipts to be issued through the EFDs from the first day of the month to the last, according to the policy on lottery by receipts of the EFD management system issued by the NBR.
By March next year, the NBR wants to install 4,000 EFDs across the country and 10,000 by June.
"We are considering conducting the lottery from next month," said Bashir Ahmed, first secretary (VAT Implementation) to the NBR.
The revenue authority's declaration comes after it installed nearly 1,000 EFDs at stores in Dhaka and other major cities as a part of its efforts to ensure that VAT charges properly reach the state coffer.
VAT is the biggest source of revenue for the state and revenue officials and analysts on several occasions said the government does not get the actual amount of VAT paid by consumers owing to unscrupulous business practices.
The NBR started installing the devices from August this year and initially installed 100 EFDs at stores and businesses in Dhaka and Chattogram to see the results before embarking on a nationwide rollout.
The EFDs are provided for free to 25 types of businesses, including shops, hotels, restaurants, sweet stores, clothing, furniture and electronics outlets and jewelers.
The revenue administration started rolling out the devices three years ago after its previous bid to enforce the use of electronic cash registers (ECRs) failed mainly because of an absence of any electronic system to monitor transactions at shops through the devices to ensure actual collection of the tax.
The NBR said it connects the EFDs at stores to a central server at the NBR in order to monitor sales as the devices will generate real-time data.
In its policy, the revenue authority said it will hold lottery on the 5th of every month and will publicise the winning coupon numbers within three working days in various media.
The second highest prize will be Tk 50,000 and the NBR will give one prize for this category. The money for the third prize will be Tk 25,000 and the NBR will issue five prizes for this category.
The prize money for the remaining 94 prizes will be Tk 10,000 each.
The NBR said a six-member management committee, headed by NBR Member VAT Implementation and IT, will oversee the overall task.