Automated VAT system set to begin

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is optimistic about starting its automated Value-added Tax (VAT) regime on Bangabandhu’s Birth Centenary, NBR member (VAT implementation and IT), Md Jamal Hossain, confirmed. While addressing a seminar at the ongoing BASIS Softexpo recently he said, “There are several challenges ahead of implementing VAT automation, and considering all these challenges, the NBR is continuously working”.

“It’s very challenging to provide service to small and medium entrepreneurs. To bring them under automation, we will provide them Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD). Gradually other companies will also get similar devices under the automation activity”, he added. The revenue board, last year appointed 11 firms to purchase or develop this device that will be provided to the business companies. But the board has now decided to engage more companies to implement the project within the shortest possible time.

In this regard, Jamal said, “We are inviting our local software companies to work for VAT automation. We will implement the automation process in three steps, we have already started our work, gradually we are advancing, and we have to be patient to implement automation regime”.

The NBR, on June 13 last, issued a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) asking 25 types of business sales points to mandatorily use this device from the current fiscal year to keep the transactions and VAT collection records accurately. According to the SRO, any business entity having annual turnover more than Tk 50,00000 must set up EFD software at their outlets.

Earlier in February last year, the NBR appointed 11 firms to develop the EFD software. These firms are- UY Systems, Ennova Technologies, Dhrupadi Techno Consortium, Symphony Softtech, UniSoft Systems, Mediasoft Data Systems, Best Business Bond, CSL Software Resources, Allied Information Technology, Jubosoft Information Systems and Divine IT.

Besides, the aspirant company needs the experience of accounting or similar software making, which have successfully been set up at least three medium or large scale business firms. According to the sources, the aspirant company will have to apply before a VAT Commissioner concerned. Then its commissioner will initially check out the software and send it to the NBR member for VAT implementation and IT.

The member, after his or her observation, will send it to an authorizing committee comprised of 5 members headed by the commissioner (VAT) of the Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU). The committee will finally decide whether or not the software could get approval. Earlier, the revenue authority in 2009, introduced Electronic Cash Register (ECR) at 11 types of sales and service centers to keep the transactions and VAT collection records.

However, the traders did not comply with it. The NBR later in fiscal 2018-19 announced the introduction of EFD instead of ECR, aligned with the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012. The government since July this year enacted the new VAT law, and the revenue board as per the law made the mandatory use of EFD devices for the businesses concerned.