Tax lawyers have urged the government to scrap a provision in the proposed fiscal measure that allows former tax officials to practise tax law without becoming members of a tax bar association, said a press release on Tuesday.
Presently, an individual has to become a member of a taxes bar association to be an income tax practitioner.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR), in the Finance Bill 2019, is seeking to abolish the requirement from next fiscal year, a move, which tax lawyers say, is meant to allow former income tax officials to provide tax consultancy without membership of a bar association.
“The abolition of the existing provision will create anarchy in the profession and it will not be possible to maintain discipline,” said Md Suhrab Uddin, convener of Bangladesh Tax Lawyers’ Association (BTLA), in the press release.
“The existing provision has been in place for a long time. Now there is a plot to abolish it,” he said.
Md Humayun Kabir, president of Dhaka Taxes Bar Association (DTBA), termed the abolishment of the provision a black law.
The two associations alleged that a section of officials of the NBR misled the top brass of the tax administration.
Shah Zikrul Ahmed, a former president of the BTLA, said none should be allowed to work as an income tax practitioner if he or she does not first become a member of a tax bar association.
If a tax lawyer becomes a member of a bar association, he or she comes under a form of accountability, said Md Khurshed Alam, a former president of the DTBA.
Nasir Uddin Ahmed, general secretary of the DTBA, said tax lawyers play an important role in helping generate revenues.
Both the BTLA and the DTBA represent 40,000 tax lawyers across the country. The two associations have been protesting the proposal after the placement of the Finance Bill in parliament on June 13.
The movement, which includes sit-ins, will continue until the demand is met, said the press release.