The Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) has proposed raising the individual tax-free income limit to Tk 4 lakh in the upcoming budget considering the adverse financial impact on people caused by coronavirus pandemic.
The forum also suggested to fix the limit at Tk 5 lakh for women, differently able and 60 years above people.ERF leaders placed the proposal at a pre-budget discussion on Thursday organized by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) held at NBR office in the city.
In the budget for 2020-21 fiscal, the government increased tax-free income limit at Tk 3 lakh from Tk 2.5 lakh.
The tax-free income threshold for female taxpayers and 65 years above people was fixed Tk 3.5 lakh in FY21 from Tk 3 lakh of FY20.
In the written proposal reads out by ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy also proposed the NBR to appoint tax agents at Upazila level across the country as there is no tax office in such areas though many taxable people are living there.
Comparing higher corporate tax rate with neighboring countries, ERF President suggested reducing corporate tax by 5 percent from the existing rate to encourage more investment.
At present corporate tax rate is 25 percent for the listed companies and 32.5 percent for non-listed companies.Expressing concern over the money laundering, Sharmeen Rinvy said that a group of people are involved in money laundering by misusing of bond license facility. “According to the Money Laundering Protection Act 2015, the NBR is empowered to punish the money launders. So, ERF proposes to appoint more technological know-how to prevent money laundering,” she said.
ERF President said that people still have to face harassment during submitting tax returns. Considering the fact, full digitization of NBR is required to ease the process, ERF proposal said.
The NBR chairman Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem thanked ERF and said that the economic reporters always play crucial role for revenue board.
“Our goal is to ensure transparency and automation in revenue collection. Hopefully the taxpayers will get the benefits from such initiative,” NBR chairman said.
Alamgir Hossain, NBR Member (income tax policy), Syed Golam Kibria, Member (VAT policy), Masud Sadiq, Member (budget) and SM Rashidul Islam, ERF secretary, among others, attended the function.