The National Board of Revenue initially plans uplifting its number of income taxpayers to the one crore mark by 2023, an NBR source said.
The revenue authority, in line with the move, has already chalked out an outline to bring massive structural reforms to its existing functional tax units, and incorporate more new units to expedite tax earnings, he said.
NBR chairman, Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, has recently sent a proposal to the finance ministry seeking approval with regard to the issue. The ministry agreed on the proposal, but noted that more analysis is needed to run it officially, the source said.
A NBR official concerned told this correspondent that they have a plan to pull at least 1 crore people under the tax net.
Currently, there are some 35 lakh electronic tax identification number (e-TIN) holders in the country. But of them only 16 lakh taxpayers submit their tax returns regularly. The NBR, in the last 5 years took several measures to expedite the income tax earnings including tax fair, tax day, tax card, tax Bahadur crest but these could not increase the number of taxpayers and tax earnings in an expected manner.
The NBR, that is why, has planned to bring structural reforms to boost the tax income.
The source said, NBR in its proposal sent to the ministry, emphasized on the expansion of tax offices’ (Tax Zones, Ranges, and Circles), expansion and reformation of tax appeal unit, and structural reforms into the central tax wing.
In addition, the NBR also proposed to transform the tax survey zone into the tax information management unit, and bring structural reforms to the BCS (Tax) Academy.
NBR said, in line with modernization of tax management and structural changes, they will reform the departments of income tax members.
To build an effective tax management, the NBR proposed to increase the number of tax members to 10 instead of the existing 8 in the tax department.
For the purpose of modernization of tax management, and effective implementation of structural reforms, the income tax members, Director General and officials at other positions, should also be evaluated with appropriate salary grade considering their responsibility, duty level and dignity, NBR mentioned in a summary note.
Referring to the country’s tax management as weak, the exchequer in its proposal letter mentioned that tax intelligence, investigation, seizure and prosecution are the essential measures in the tax departments, to deal with tax evasion.
To intercept tax evasion and raise tax compliance, these functions are prerequisite and there are individual administrative units to conduct these duties almost in all countries. However, Bangladesh has no such individual unit to conduct these duties, NBR said in its proposal letter.
The exchequer also urged the ministry to form another individual unit for income tax wing to conduct e-registration, e-return filing and e-payment system.
NBR noted in the letter that if these provisions are made, tax officials would be able to bring one crore people under tax registration that would increase the tax GDP ratio 16 percent for the mid-term period and 20 percent or more for the long term.