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Income Tax Ordinance must be amended to remove barrier between dishonest officials and marginal taxpayers

28 November 2022

The government should amend the Income Tax Ordinance 1984 for ensuring the inclusive contribution of the taxpayers to the economic growth of the country. Businesses observed that the tax to gross domestic product ratio in the country was meagre considering its economic growth due to a number of loopholes in the law. In the early day's final settlement of tax was based on TDS and the minimum tax on gross receipts irrespective of loss.
The national economy, including that at the upazila level, was rising. Still, the contribution of the national revenue was only about 10 per cent, which was a serious concern for the government. The government is offering facilities to promote industrialisation, but the high rate of advance tax deduction contradicts the government facilities for the industrial sectors, especially for the micro, small and medium industries. Besides, offering facilities for legalising undisclosed money encourages tax evaders and discourages honest taxpayers. The discriminatory power of the revenue officials under the existing law should be amended to tackle the corruption of a section of revenue officials though the power was introduced to ensure equal support for the marginal taxpayers.
Revenue earning has a negative growth compared to the rising economic growth due to a wrong perception between taxpayers and tax officials. Relations between revenue officials and taxpayers should improve and tax policy should be more reliable in the context of current economic conditions for ensuring the growth of tax revenue collection. Experts urged that amending the income tax law is a timely demand to break the wall between tax officials and taxpayers so that taxpayers enjoy submitting their income tax. Tax offices should be more functional and the skills of officials should improve to offer hassle-free services to the taxpayers.
Existing taxpayers have to pay more in comparison to their income, while millions of professionals are still out of tax nets and their income does not reflect in the tax return documents. The NBR should spread the tax net swiftly to bring certain income group people under its purview.

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