Tips for submitting tax returns
Paying taxes is considered a civic duty and doing so, is a stringent requirement of the law of every country as well. In Bangladesh, the National Board of Revenue or NBR is the governing body that oversees the collection of taxes and revenues. Every year, 30 November is commemorated as National Income Tax Day and it also marks the last date by which you have to report your earnings to the NBR by submitting your tax return memos to them.
For a newbie job-holder who has recently stepped into the 9-to-5 job-life and cycle of adulthood, filling out tax returns and submitting them initially sounds like the most perplexing and complex task ever. ASM Nazrul Islam, Manager, Corporate Affairs & Tax at The Daily Star, is a veteran in the arena of tax returns and management and has been facilitating the tax returns process for employees from different walks of life for the past three decades.
According to him, the process follows a series of basic steps.
Getting a TIN
The first step is to register for and collect a Tax Identification Number (aka TIN).
"Any earning individual who is above the age of 18 can have his/her own TIN," Islam stated. Those who register must submit tax returns at least annually.
Calculating your taxes
"Your share of taxable income is calculated on the basis of your past fiscal year's total income (for example, this year's taxable income will be based on income earned between 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022)," Islam elaborated.
To facilitate the process further, NBR has also launched an online tax calculator that can be used to assess your taxes for the year.
"Another point to remember is that even if an individual holds a TIN but has zero taxable income, they still have to submit their tax return slips in due time," Islam reminded.
Filling out the Tax Return form
Islam describes this as a simple procedure: "You can easily download the standard 4-page tax return form for free from the official NBR website."
You have to fill out the information and details like income, assets, earnings, investments, etc. as applicable to the individual. Those who find this process tedious can also always seek the help of a professional, like a tax lawyer to guide them through the process.
Tax Return Reporting Timeline
Every year, the timeline of submitting tax returns starts on 1 July and ends on 30 November, the National Tax Day.
Submitting your Tax Returns
Islam informed that during TIN registration, every applicant is given a zone, region or tax circle, which is useful during doing tax returns. After all the form filling is done, the tax return slip has to be submitted to the designated regional or zonal tax office as a part of our civic duty to inform the government of our earnings. We can submit this slip ourselves or also through a representative. Usually, companies, collect all the employees' tax return slips and submit them in bulk to the government office.
Managing your taxes better
"Learning how to manage your taxes is always a good idea," Islam pointed out.
According to his recommendation, you can invest in different fields like deposit schemes, stocks/shares, life insurance, property, businesses, etc. while staying within the law, then you can actually be eligible to claim a handsome tax rebate at the end of the tax return process.
Pro tip from the professional
Income tax, VAT and excise duty may usually sound like complex elements, but those who can really learn and understand the process of doing these can really understand how much of their income is actually coming in and going out and overall make the best benefit out of a seemingly puzzling process.
"This is why I always recommend that every individual should themselves learn how to fill out their own tax returns, because those who understand it well, can do both: save themselves from hefty taxes and also contribute to the national revenue in the right manner," Islam advised.
Surely, it might not be the most pleasant feeling ever to see that conspicuous tax deduction on your salary statement every month. However, knowing that the hard-earned money that you are contributing through taxes is going to so many places in the form of national revenue — ensures the roads you travel on are safe, funds public libraries, heritage sites and parks, and supports so many other socially beneficial government programmes.
This is why, no matter how simple or tedious, we should do our tax returns in due time to avoid making it a taxing task!
Find the Tax Calculator and Income Tax Form on NBR's website,