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Deep tax cutbacks and raising income-tax ceiling for individual taxpayers from Tk 300,000 to Tk 400,000 considering high inflation and cost of living top budget proposals Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) placed Wednesday.
The influential business body, in its proposal, urges the revenue authority to take a long-term strategic plan to increase the number of taxpayers up to at least 8 million in a decade for horizontal expansion of taxation base instead of increasing tax load on existing taxpayers.
DCCI also underscores the importance of full automation for building up an efficient taxation system in the country to catch up with the digital dispensation in all walks of life in the new era.
“About 27 lakh (2.7 million) tax payers regularly submit their returns on average every year, which is very nominal for an economy like Bangladesh,” DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said while placing Wednesday the chamber’s budget proposals for the fiscal year 2022-23.
He said that the National Board of Revenue (NBR) should take a long-term strategic plan to increase the number of taxpayers up to 8 million at the minimum in next 10 years’ time.
DCCI placed a set of total 40 recommendations for the upcoming national budget of FY2022-23 to the NBR chairman, Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem, at a pre-budget discussion meeting held at the NBR headquarters.
In order to become competitive in the region, the DCCI president proposed drastic cuts in corporate tax to a consolidated rate of 2.5 per cent for both listed and non-listed companies from the current 22.5 per cent for listed companies and 30 per cent for non-listed ones.
The chamber proposes halving the tax on income of corporate dividends from the existing 20 per cent to 10 per cent.
“The cutbacks will encourage the local investors to reinvest as well as boost efficiency in the stock market,” the DCCI president says.
Currently, businesses that have an annual turnover of Tk 30 million are exempt from VAT (value-added tax) payment. But the trade body recommends increasing this turnover limit to Tk 40 million in the next budget and also requests imposing turnover tax based on product’s value addition or profit margin.
It calls for minimizing lengthy process of getting bond licence for leather goods and footwear industry.
Moreover, the chamber of mostly industrial owners suggests giving bond-renewal facility for at least 3 years to these sectors as in the case of RMG sector.
It also demands tax exemption on locally produced machinery and components for electric vehicle- charging stations in order to promote sustainable and environment-friendly automobile industry within the country.
Lastly, the DCCI president, Rizwan Rahman, in his speech stressed easy and business-friendly taxation system, expanding tax and VAT net, full automation of tax management, product diversification, encouraging local industrialization and an investment-friendly environment aiming to attain the goal of economic development.
Chairman of the NBR Mr Muneem said that trade organizations can arrange knowledge-sharing activities to make their members aware of various policies that the NBR takes relating to revenue and duty structure.
He also notes that before Bangladesh’s LDC graduation, the country’s private sector has to enhance their capacity because after graduation many facilities that they are enjoying now will not be available then.
“To create a business-friendly environment in the country the NBR is relentlessly working and the NBR is simultaneously trying to increase the tax net,” he told his business audience.
He mentions that in the last two years the government has been more flexible in terms of tax rate to boost GDP and employment generation and this year the budget will be made considering macro-policy perspective.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Chamber of Industry (BCI), in its budget proposal, calls for removing turnover tax for loss-incurring businesses.
Placing its proposals, BCI President Anwar-ul Alam Chowdhury Parvez suggested lifting the limit in section 30 on income tax
He urges the NBR to introduce miscellaneous head to show miscellaneous expenditure in the tax return.
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