Speakers at a dialogue on Thursday urged the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to enact the “Income Tax Act 2022” by making it taxpayers and business friendly.
They made the call at a discussion titled “Income Tax Law 2022” organised by the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) and Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) at ERF Auditorium in the capital.
ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy gave the welcome speech and its General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam moderated the programme.
Economic Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Mashiur Rahman attended the discussion as the chief guest.
Earlier, NBR uploaded the draft of the act on October 27 and it is expected to be finalised within December 31.
Presenting the keynote paper at the event, Founding Partner of Snehasish Mahmud & Co, Snehasish Barua, proposed that an authentic English version be published along with mapping with the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984.
He put emphasis on the ambiguities surrounding admissible and inadmissible business expenses, rationalisation of tax deduction at source towards optimising impact of minimum tax.
Policy Exchange of Bangladesh Chairman M Masrur Reaz said the aim of the Tax Act should enhance economic capacity and assist its growth.
The issue of digitisation should be included in the act for the sake of revenue mobilisation, he added.
BUILD Chairperson Abul Kasem Khan said Bangladesh is in transition at the moment. The country has immense challenges and possibilities ahead, so the act is very important.
Mentioning that people need economic freedom, he said the trend of VAT evasion will increase if the rate remains high.
The government should decrease the rate to widen the tax net in the country, he added.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Rizwan Rahman said businesses feel proud to pay taxes. So, they should be informed before forming any financial policy.
“Automation should be ensured at all places to stop irregularities and corruption in the country,” he said.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) President Mahmudul Hasan Khusru emphasised the importance of human resources development for the sake of the country’s economy.
PM’s Economic Affairs Adviser Mashiur Rahman said the law should be more specific and target oriented and all people concerned should understand the law as well.
“NBR lacks analytical capacity. It should be improved. Besides, tax should be collected in such a way that business is not hampered here,” he said.
First Secretary of Income Tax at NBR Md Shahidul Islam, however, said their laws are not obsolete as those are reviewed every year.
BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum gave a vote of thanks.