TAX DODGING HOUSE OWNERS
NBR on the prowlJasim Uddin
The National Board of Revenue has started a door-to-door survey to detect tax evading house and apartment owners across the country, particularly in the metropolitan cities, and bring them under tax net.
Inspectors of the 31 tax zones of the NBR started visiting houses on December 18, officials of the revenue board said.
They said commissioners of the tax zones had also sought particulars of house owners under their respective jurisdiction from local government institutions and utility service providing agencies, including city corporations, Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited.
The move has been taken following an instruction of the NBR to visit every house under their tax zones, said the officials.
Against the backdrop of shortfall in the revenue
collection in the first few months of the current fiscal year, NBR chairman Ghulam Hussain instructed the commissioners to make all-out efforts to bring house owners under tax net to boost revenue earnings from the area which mostly remained unexplored, they said.
The officials said that they would prepare a list of house owners and scrutinise their tax files, if any.
Then they will prepare another list of house owners who are dodging taxes on the basis of details they will get through the door-to-door survey and from the local government institutions and the utility service providers.
A large section of house owners earn huge amount of money from house rent but they evade taxes and many of them even do not have taxpayer identification numbers, they said.
But, currently NBR has no list of house owners, including their tax related information.
‘The main purpose of the initiative is to bring the house owners under tax net and ensure revenue collection on their income generated in the form of house rent and others,’ Rustom Ali Molla, commissioner of tax zone Dhaka-4 of the NBR, told New Age on Monday.
During the survey, taxmen will see whether the house owners have taxable income and hold TIN certificates or not, he said.
If they have taxable income but do not have TIN certificate, the tax officials will serve them a notice to take TIN and pay taxes, he added.
NBR member MA Kader Sarker said that they would be able to prepare a list of house and apartment owners based on the information provided by the utility service providers and internal survey of the NBR by March.
‘We will issue notice to house owners under article 93 of Income Tax Ordinance-1984 to pay taxes if they do not have TIN certificate in spite of having taxable income,’ he said adding that tax officials had also started serving such notices.
City corporations and other offices have started sending data and tax officials are working on it, said a high official of the NBR.
He said that visiting houses and shops in a limited scale was a regular activity of the field level tax offices and they had visited houses and shops on various occasions over the last years to widen the tax net.
‘We had initially decided not to conduct door-to-door survey in this financial year in order to process the information received from such surveys in last three years,’ he said.
But, in the face of revenue collection deficit and considering the prospect of the sector, the NBR has decided to conduct door-to-door survey in full scale.
The revenue board wants to bring them under the tax net, he said, adding that the taxpayers should not be scared about the move.
‘Our main aim is to provide service to the taxpayers and increase revenue collection, not to frighten people,’ he said.
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