NBR looks to tighten tax-card recipient selection process

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The National Board of Revenue is going to finalise the national tax card policy soon, tightening the recipient selection criteria so that right persons and organisations are picked to get top taxpayer awards, officials said.
According to the proposed policy, the number of awardees will be raised. More than 100 individual and corporate income taxpayers from 25 categories will be awarded tax cards for payment of highest income tax at the national level, it said.
Currently, 20 taxpayers — 10 individuals and 10 companies — are awarded tax cards each year in recognition to their highest tax payment.
NBR officials said that at a board meeting held in August 30 the revenue board approved the draft of the National Tax Card Policy-2016, amending the existing policy framed in 2010.
According to the draft, taxpayers, both individual or companies whose tax is paid by the government or other authorities, will not be considered for the annual award.
Along with loan defaulters, taxpayers will also not be selected for the honour if their loans are rescheduled in the year for which the tax card will be given, the draft of the amended policy stated.
According to the revenue board officials, many eligible taxpayers, both in individual and corporate categories, are left out every year from the award list mainly because of limitations of the existing policy.
Every year, taxpayers from very few sectors like state-owned entities, source tax deducting authorities, banks and multinational companies get the tax cards.
In the corporate taxpayer category, some foreign companies such as Chevron and Tullow, two international oil companies, get the tax card in almost every year though they do not pay any tax to the government, rather the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation pays the tax on behalf of them as per their (companies) production sharing contracts with the government.
Some taxpayers also get the award just deducting and paying tax at source while many entrepreneurs are deprived of the honour despite paying significant amount of tax.
Some others are left out due to tax disputes pending at courts.
According to the new policy, a taxpayer will not be eligible for the award if any step is taken against him/her based on the disputes.
According to the policy, 101 taxpayers — 50 from the individual category, 40 from the corporate category and 11 from other categories, will be given tax cards.
Of the individual taxpayers, the NBR will honour 20 people from special groups of society — senior citizens, gazetted war-wounded freedom fighters, women taxpayers, people with disability and young taxpayers aged below 40.
The remaining 30 tax cards for the individual category will be given to people based on income sources like businessmen, salaried persons, doctors, journalists, lawyers, engineers, architects, accountants and others.
Corporate taxpayers will be awarded from 12 sectors such as banks, non-bank financial institutions, telecommunications, engineering, food and food-related, energy, jute, spinning and textile, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, print and electronic media, real estate and other sectors.
Firms, local authorities and associations of individuals will be awarded 11 tax cards.
NBR officials said that finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, however, directed the revenue board to increase the number of categories and taxpayers for giving tax cards.
The income tax wing is now working on it (the proposal) and the final draft will soon be sent to the finance minister for his approval, they said.
The tax-card holders are entitled to enjoy for one year a number of privileges including priority while reserving seats in public transports, public hospitals, access to VIP lounges at the airports and invitation to state functions.
The revenue board also honour three highest and two longest income taxpayers with certificates from each city corporations and districts under another policy.

Source: New Age

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