Taxpayers get one more month to file returns
The National Board of Revenue yesterday extended the deadline for income tax return submission by one month to December 31, taking public sufferings caused by the pandemic into consideration.
The move came a day after the tax administration showed its reluctance to grant individual taxpayers additional time to submit the returns for the year 2020-21.
Officially, the last day for tax return submission is November 30 -- termed Tax Day -- and the tax authorities extended the deadline based on the power given in the relevant law for factors like pandemic.
"We have seen that many taxpayers will face difficulties if we don't extend the time. Even today, there were huge crowds of taxpayers wanting to file their tax returns," NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneen said at a media briefing at the NBR headquarters in the capital yesterday afternoon.
The NBR said it received requests, including from public representatives, businesses and tax lawyers, for the deadline extension as the number of Covid-19 cases kept increasing, disrupting preparations for filing the returns. The first phase of the outbreak devastated incomes of a large number of people after it affected businesses and other economic activities.
Muneem said only 15 lakh among the holders of 50 lakh Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) had filed the income tax returns till Sunday afternoon. The number of such individual taxpayers was 14.65 lakh during the same period the previous year.
"We thought the deadline should be extended so that more taxpayers could comply with the tax rules," he said, adding that the decision was made following approval from their higher authorities.
A notification, signed by NBR Second Secretary (Tax Policy) Md Mohidul Islam Chowdhury, said the order was issued considering public interests.
For the current fiscal year, the NBR has made 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.
Last year, nearly 22 lakh taxpayers filed returns as the submission was not mandatory. This year, tax authorities expect to receive a higher number of returns because of changes in the law made while passing the national budget for fiscal 2020-21.
The official time for tax return filing starts on July 1 every year.
Taxpayers failing to file their returns by the end of the new deadline will have to submit their returns by seeking time from the field offices of taxes, said NBR sources.