INCOME tax return means submission of return of income in the prescribed form to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Taxes by a person whose total income during the income year exceeds the maximum amount of non-chargeable income or the income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable to tax under the Income Tax Ordinance (ITO), 1984.
However, any non-resident Bangladeshi may file his return of income along with bank draft equivalent to the tax liability to the nearest Bangladesh mission and the mission will issue a receipt of such return with official seal and send the return to the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
As per the stipulation stated in the Finance Act, 2014 if any person earned more than Tk 220,000 during the income year 2013-14 then s/he has to file his/her income return along with the source(s) of income. Nevertheless, the limit of maximum non taxable income will be Tk 275,000 for women and senior tax payers of 65 years and above age, Tk 350,000 for physically challenged and retarded personnel and Tk 400,000 for gazette enlisted war wounded freedom fighters. However, the following person also has to submit his/her income tax return though s/he did not earn much than the highest limit, if s/he:
i) resides in city corporation or paurashava or divisional Head Quarters (HQ) or district HQ and owns motor car including jeep/micro-bus or holds membership of a club registered under the VAT law;
ii) runs any business or profession having trade licence and operates a bank account;
iii) has registered with a recognised professional body as a doctor, dentist, lawyer, income-tax practitioner, chartered accountant, cost and management accountant, engineer, architect, surveyor or any other similar profession;
iv) member of a chamber of commerce and industries or a trade association;
v) is a candidate for an office of any paurashava, city corporation, or a Member of Parliament;
vi) assessed to tax for any of the three years immediately preceding the income year;
vii) participates in a tender floated by the Government, semi- Government, autonomous body or a local authority. In addition, any registered company/Non-Government Organisation (NGO) shall file a return of its income or the income of any other person for whom the company/NGO is assessable to the authority.
The tax rates during the assessment year 2014-15 for individual taxpayer other than female, taxpayers of 65 years and above, differently able person, retarded employee and gazetted war-wounded freedom fighter are as follows:
Total Income Rate of Tax
For first Tk 220,000 0%
For next Tk 300,000 10%
For next Tk 400,000 15%
For next Tk 500,000 20%
For next Tk 3000,000 25%
For rest of the amount 30%
The tax rates for female, taxpayers of 65 years and above, differently able, retarded and gazetted war-wounded freedom fighter are same after exceeding the maximum tax free threshold. However, the minimum amount of income tax for the assessee who lives in city corporation area is Tk 3000, Tk 2000 for district HQ inhabitants and Tk 1000 for other tax payers.
Submission of income tax return
Each income tax payer is entitled to get income tax return form for free of cost from tax offices or from the website of NBR i.e www.nbr-bd.org. In addition, NBR has launched online tax calculator on www.nbrtaxcalculatorbd.org to make it easy for the assessees to assess their taxes. Also, NBR introduces spot assessment for small entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers. Whoever invests Tk 1000,000 as initial capital shall pay Tk 4000 and those doctors and lawyers who practiced their profession 5-10 years shall pay Tk 2000-4000 as income tax. After assessing the amount of income tax every assessee shall deposit the amount to the govt. exchequer through pay order, treasury challan or online via www.nbrepayment.gov.bd and submit duly signed and verified return form along with the necessary documents to relevant tax circle.
Time limit to submit the return
A company/NGO shall submit the income tax return, by the fifteenth day of July next following the income year or where the fifteenth day of July falls before the expiry of six months from the end of the income year, before the expiry of such six months and in all other cases, by the thirtieth day of September next following the income year. However, the last date for the submission of return may be extended by the DC of Taxes up to six months with the approval of the Inspecting Joint Commissioner. Beside this, the Government can also extend the time limit.
Punishment for infringement of the rules
An assessee will be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years but shall not be less than three months or with fine or with both, if s/he makes a statement in any verification, return or any other document furnished under any provisions of the ITO, 1984 which is false or knowingly and willfully aids, abets, assists, incites or includes another person to make or deliver a false return, account, statement, certificate or declaration or himself knowingly and willfully makes or delivers such false return, account, statement, certificate or declaration on behalf of another person.
Furthermore, an assessee will be culpable of an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both, if s/he, without reasonable cause fails to furnish the return of income in due time. Beside this, the DC of Taxes will impose fine Tk 10% from the last assessed amount but not less than Tk 1000 and also impose fine Tk 50 for each day late.
In addition, a person will be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment which may extend to five years but shall not be less than three months or with fine or with both, if he conceals the particulars or deliberately furnishes inaccurate particulars of his income. However, if a public servant or any person assisting or engaged by any person discloses any particulars/information in contravention of the provisions of this law is guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine.
The existing systems of accumulation of income tax are weak, complex, time consuming and still not hassle free for the taxpayers. In this regard the whole tax management system should be structured effectively to prevent evasion of taxes.
The writer is a senior lecturer of law, Dhaka International University (DIU)