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October 23, 2014

Online tax returns to commence next year

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By 1st January 2016, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is slated to introduce income tax returns submission, processing and online payment to help facilitate the tax payers who will be able to avail such seamless services.

The board will introduce online filing, digitization of tax returns and establishment of tax payers’ information and services for the income tax administration under the ‘Strengthening Governance Management Project.’ This initiative is aimed to provide better transparency and accountability in terms of tax filing, while at the same time implementing good governance via ICT to further increase tax revenues.

“The taxpayers will have different services online by January 1, 2016. However, it could be introduced even by September next year if the board does not face any problems during piloting the project,” NBR chairman Md Ghulam Hussain told reporters yesterday.

The board will begin the piloting of the project in the next 8 to 9 months at a convenient region, such as Dhaka, Chittagong or other divisional headquarter, he added.

This project will ease the work of tax payers as they would be able to do most of their tax related activities online under this system.

He further went on to say,  “As it will take 18 months to accomplish the whole task, we are expecting that we would be able to conclude the work by December next year whereas the piloting would be done in the next eight or nine months. There will be piloting for two or three months where correction and adjustments will be made, if needed”

This project will ease the work of tax payers as they would be able to do most of their tax related activities online under this system. These would include submission of their income tax returns and all other processes such as the assessment of results, tax calculation, payment, audit, providing tax clearance certificates, etc.

FPT Information System Corporation is a Vietnamese firm that has received the contract for implementing this project, while the Annual Development Bank is in charge of assisting and financing it. The total cost of the project is Tk. 78.98 crore; the government will provide Tk. 12.68 crore and ADB will cover the remaining Tk. 66.3 crore.

The total cost of the project is Tk. 78.98 crore; the government will provide Tk. 12.68 crore and ADB will cover the remaining Tk. 66.3 crore.

Of the allocated fund for the project, Tk. 24.90 crore will be required to purchase three pieces of software, Tk.19.05 crore will be used to buy hardware for the entire system, while Tk. 8.28 crore is to be used for the procurement of hardware for regional data entry and information center.

This system will have interface with commerce ministry’s trade portal, office of Chief Controller of Import & Exports, Export Promotional Bureau, Bangladesh bank, and other institutions. It will also incorporate interfaces with customs, National ID project, VAT, insurance, treasury system and standard interface with third party applications.

All services relating to income tax can be availed by taxpayers by registering themselves on the website once the system is fully implemented. Currently the online tax return submission system is active, covering tax zone 8 of Dhaka, while about 23,000 taxpayers under this zone submit their tax returns online.