The Daily Star carried a news report on January 8 titled “New finance minister sets sights on boosting revenue.” The goal set by the new finance minister is appreciable. In a nation with a population of more than 160 million people, only 1.7-1.8 million submit their tax returns. The new finance minister has pledged to increase the number to 40 million.
While this is an ambitious target, that there are many who are liable to pay taxes but do not should not be ignored. By bringing more people under the tax net, the government can reduce its excessive reliance on indirect taxation.
One of the main reasons why people do not pay taxes is the complicated process involved with submitting tax returns. To really live up to his promise, the finance minister must take steps to drastically ease the process. The government can set up an automated system using which people can calculate how much tax they owe to the government, and make the payment online or through a mobile-based process. This will encourage people to pay their due taxes on time. In addition, the government should launch awareness campaigns on why people should pay their taxes regularly.