NBR launches digital system to verify tax returns

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has launched a digital system to verify the authenticity of the tax return and speed up the delivery of services by the authorities concerned.

Its income tax wing officially opened the tax return verification module on August 21, officials said.

Anyone from all over the country can verify the authenticity of the declaration by inserting the taxpayer identification number (TIN) in the module, available on the BNR website.

In the current year’s budget, the government has made it mandatory to submit proof of tax return to obtain about 40 types of services in government and private entities.

Entities will need to check the tax return slip before providing services, in accordance with the Income Tax Order 1984.

In case of detection of false tax return slip by the taxpayers, the service providing entities may be liable to a fine of Tk 10 lakh.

However, many service providers found it difficult, after the adoption of the provision by the Finance Law-2022, to verify the tax return slip because they did not have access to the taxpayer database of the BNR, which is confidential in accordance with the income tax law. .

To address the difficulties, an NBR team developed the returns verification module in a custom way where an authentication slip would be generated, verifying the returns submission rather than disclosing other information, officials said.

The confidentiality of taxpayer information would not be affected by the verification process, they added.

The deadline for filing tax returns by individual taxpayers began on July 1 and is scheduled to end on November 30, 2022.

The tax return slip is mandatory for obtaining different services such as opening and continuing bank accounts and utility hookups.

Previously, the Bangladesh Bankers Association (BBA) had proposed the government to reconsider the tax measure on mandatory submission of tax return slips.

They wanted a gradual implementation of such measures to familiarize themselves with it.

Bankers said that relatives of remittance recipients living in rural areas of the country would face problems in withdrawing money or managing bank accounts as they have to obtain a tax declaration slip from the offices of the taxes after submitting their tax returns.

Tax experts said the tax authority needs to bolster its help or service centers to support taxpayers as millions of new taxpayers are expected to submit returns in the current fiscal year.

In the past fiscal year, a total of 2.4 million individual taxpayers submitted their tax returns out of more than 7 million TIN holders.

Previously, only the NIF was required to obtain various services.

People could use a TIN for years after obtaining it once from tax offices.

From now on, the tax declaration slip must be obtained each year after the declarations have been filed.

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