One-fourth of taxpayers filed returns so far
Just one-fourth of more than 50 lakh registered taxpayers in the country filed their annual income tax returns by the end of last week.
But the National Board of Revenue said that it would not extend the deadline for submission beyond November 30. This means that taxpayers who fail to file their return by the end today will have to submit their returns by seeking time from the field offices of taxes.
Besides, holders of Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN), except for certain cases, will face fine for their failure to furnish income tax returns this year.
This became apparent after the NBR yesterday said that it would not extend the deadline even though there were demands from taxpayers for an extension as the number of Covid-19 positives began to increase for the last several weeks, forcing many individual taxpayers to remain in isolation.
Responding to reporters, NBR Chairman Ab Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said the coronavirus has been around for nearly one year, during which most regular activities continued.
"All had to continue our activities, be it business or regular. So, we do not think the coronavirus has created a barrier for filing returns. There may be a problem in some cases and those who are facing difficulty may apply to the commissioners for time extensions," he said.
He said the commissioners were already advised to grant time for all applications. They have also been advised to be soft on imposing penalties on taxpayers, the NBR chief said at the press briefing.
The tax collector organised the press briefing at its headquarters to share some of its plans.
The NBR said that the number of tax returns filed increased 5 per cent year-on-year to 13.20 lakh as of November 26, up from 12.57 lakh a year ago.
"We hope a good number of taxpayers will submit returns in the last two days," said NBR Member (Tax Policy) Md Alamgir Hossain.
The official time for tax return filing starts from July 1 every year and ends on November 30, termed as Tax Day.
For the current fiscal, the NBR made the submission of income tax returns compulsory for all taxpayers, except for credit cardholders with no taxable income, people who got TIN for selling land and non-residents who do not have any fixed base in Bangladesh, according to the NBR.
Muneem said a large portion of TIN holders might not file returns this year on the assumption that there would be no legal measures from the tax authority.
"They will realise only when they will face fines.
"We have made return filing mandatory for all taxpayers. Those who will not submit return will face action as per rule," he said.
Income tax is the second biggest source of revenue collected by the NBR, and companies account for more than 60 per cent of the direct tax collected.
Last year, nearly 22 lakh taxpayers filed returns as the submission was not mandatory. This year, taxmen expect to receive a higher number of returns because of changes in the law brought while passing the national budget for fiscal 2020-21.
The tax department aims to log Tk 105,475 crore during the current fiscal year. The collection target is 32 per cent of the total goal of Tk 330,000 crore. As of October, taxmen had achieved nearly one-fifth of that yearly target, NBR data shows.