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It is critical for NBR to be vigilant against tax evasion: Towfiqul Islam Khan

Published in The Daily Star on Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Revenue rises 18pc in Jul-Nov

Star Business Report

Revenue collection grew 18 percent year-on-year to Tk 75,308 crore in the July-November period of the current fiscal year driven by rising imports and increased domestic economic activities, official data showed.

The collection grew at a faster pace in the current fiscal year compared to the previous year but missed the target of Tk 84,066 crore for the five-month period, according to the National Board of Revenue.

A senior official of the NBR, requesting anonymity, said the pace of collection usually increases in the second half of the fiscal year as the implementation of the annual development programme accelerates during the period.

“Overall, we have registered quite good growth so far. We are hopeful of attaining our annual target,” he said.

Development activities carried out by the government are one of the major sources of revenue. When the government spends more on ADP projects, the tax collector logs increased revenue in the form of income tax and value added tax, particularly from suppliers, contractors and manufacturers.

ADP spending rose 40 percent year-on-year to Tk 32,997 crore in July-November, according to the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division under the planning ministry.

In July-November, collections from imports and exports soared 22 percent year-on-year to Tk 24,609 crore. Earnings from VAT, the biggest source of revenue for the NBR, rose 16 percent year-on-year to Tk 29,054 crore in the five months to November.

Income tax receipts grew 16 percent to Tk 21,645 crore in the period, up from Tk 18,724 crore in the same period a year ago.

The NBR official said field-level data reflects that revenue receipts would grow about 20 percent in July-December.

Towfiqul Islam Khan, research fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said the NBR’s statistics showed that higher revenue collection in FY2018 has been driven by high import growth.

Income tax collection, on the other hand, is found to be less than expected, particularly in view of improvements in the number of taxpayers, he said.

Khan said it is critical for the NBR to be vigilant against tax evasion arising from trade.

Besides, in the wake of the deferment of the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012, the NBR should emphasise settlement of disputed revenue claims in order to reduce the potential revenue shortfall, he said.

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