The Income Tax Fair wore a festive look yesterday as hundreds of taxpayers rushed to the venue to avail various tax-related services under one roof without any hassle on the first day of the weekly holiday.
Yesterday was the fourth day of the weeklong fair inaugurated by Finance Minister AMA Muhith on November 13.
The enthusiastic taxpayers started gathering on Officers' Club premises well before 9:00am where the fair is taking place.
Taxpayers were seen standing in a long queue from 8:30am in front of the fair entrance.
When asked, Abul Kalam Miah, a freedom fighter, said he feels comfortable to submit his tax return during the fair as there is a dedicated booth for freedom fighters. “I've been taking this opportunity for the last eight years and this is a very good gesture of the NBR [National Board of Revenue] for us,” he said.
Yasmin Farida Bhuiyan said as the fair has a separate booth for female taxpayers and senior citizens, it is better for everyone to submit their income tax return there.
Syed Hasan Nasir, who lives in Mohammadpur area of the city, said he avails the opportunity to submit his tax return at the fair as he always finds solution to any problem under one roof.
Abu Delowar Hossain, who came from Agargaon, emphasised the need to bring back the fair to its own building at Agargaon.
The volunteers were seen proactive in maintaining the queue as some taxpayers were reluctant about maintaining discipline. “Everyone rushes to have his work done once entering the venue,” a worried volunteer said.
Talking to this correspondent, some officials said they feel encouraged when they see the smile of content on the faces of taxpayers as they get their desired tax-related services done.
All divisional cities are also holding similar fairs for seven days while it will be held for four days in 56 districts, two days in 32 upazilas, and one day in 70 upazilas.
November 30 is the last day for submitting income tax returns for individual taxpayers.
For the last two years, the fair was held at NBR's own office in the city's Agargaon area.
To avoid traffic jam due to the ongoing construction of metro rail, the NBR has shifted the fair venue from Agargaon to the Officers' Club, according to NBR.
The new inclusion to the fair is the tax training through audio-visual means.
New taxpayers can collect e-TINs (electronic tax identification numbers) at the fair while other taxpayers also can collect e-TIN through re-registration.
Separate booths have been set up at the fair venues for e-payment and freedom fighters, women, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Tax collection on the first four days of the fair has crossed the Tk 1,200-crore mark amid the increasing turnout of individual taxpayers.
As of yesterday, 9 lakh people received services from taxmen at the fair. The figure was 5.99 lakh last year, officials said.
The NBR said 19,415 new taxpayers joined the income tax network by signing up for taxpayers' identification number in the first four days, which is 240.85 percent high on year-on-year.