Businessmen said yesterday that the government should formulate a new income tax law in an attempt to iron out any trust issues between taxpayers and taxpayers.
The tax administration should also seek the advice of all stakeholders before finalizing the tax bill, they added during a discussion.
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The Economic Journalists Forum (ERF) and Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) jointly hosted the event at the ERF office in Dhaka to discuss the Income Tax Bill prepared by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
The NBR introduced the bill, which was first posted on its Bengali-language website, seeking stakeholder input in October, to replace the current 1984 Income Tax Ordinance.
The goal of any law remains unfulfilled unless there is coordination among lawmakers, enforcement agencies and for those it is crafted, said Mashiur Rahman, the prime minister’s economic affairs adviser.
Abul Kasem Khan, President of BUILD, said Bangladesh was in its transition phase to become a developing country.
Graduation will bring both perspectives and challenges.
“So we need to increase our competitiveness and the number of products in our export basket to face the challenges. At this stage, companies should be given incentives to enable them to prepare,” he said.
Khan went on to say that the opinions of companies should be taken before any policy is formulated concerning them.
“But we find that the new tax bill is almost finalized and businessmen do not know it in detail,” he said, adding that the NBR had sought the advice of businessmen. regarding the law but needed more time to share their views.
Khan then called for the removal of the withholding income tax or withholding tax, as the prevalence of the law reflects assumptions that businessmen do not want to pay tax.
“This is why the tax is withheld at source,” he said.
“Some may want to evade tax, but it would be unfair to view all of them as tax evaders.”
On the matter, Md Shahidul Islam, First Secretary (Tax Policy) of the NBR, said that withholding tax is present in other countries and is collected to guarantee the funds necessary for the functioning of government activities throughout. the year.
âIf everyone pays taxes in October or November of the year, where will the government get funds to cover current and development expenses? he added.
Snehasish Barua, partner of Snehasish Mahmud & Co, said there are good provisions in the income tax bill.
This includes a proposal for electronic tax management and integration of international best practices, a provision for the automated transfer of refunds to taxpayer bank accounts, and measures to ensure transparency and accountability of the tax administration.
However, some provisions will allow taxpayers to exercise more arbitrary power when assessing taxes, he added.
Rizwan Rahman, president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also spoke at the event.