Tech firms seek tax holiday extension

Jannatul Islam

7 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Tech entrepreneurs have urged the government to extend the tax holiday period to 2030 from the existing timeframe of 2024 in line with the national information technology policy to support the growth of Digital Bangladesh.

The business leaders also requested to issue tax exemption certificates in digital format to ease the return submission process.

Talking to the Daily Sun, IT sector trade body leaders have emphasized tax reforms to promote local products and services in the line with the national strategy to help the country become self-reliant in service development and product manufacturing.

Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) recently forwarded the budget recommendations to the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Regarding the budget proposal, Basis President Syed Almas Kabir said the technology sector has to inject more investment for attaining some national target including $5 billion exports from Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) sector.

“We need more investment to attain some targets. And the government should extend the timeline of the tax holiday to attract investors in Bangladesh for doing business in the long term. It should be decided immediately,” Syed Almas Kabir told the Daily Sun.

He also mentioned that the trade body recommended keeping digital transactions including bank card or mobile banking out of the purview tax to promote the cashless practice.

In the letter to NBR, the software trade body requested the government to incorporate the new definition of ITES into the Income Tax Ordinance to address the new areas of the technology sector.

“The government should include the software as services, cloud services, system integration, ITeS training programme and internet service in the ITeS sector,” reads the letter.

The government has announced the tax exemption facilities till 2024 to businesses tagged with ITeS or Information Technology Enabled Services.

Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) President Shahid Ul Munir said the government should reconsider the taxation for raw machinery for promoting the Made in Bangladesh vision.

“The ‘Made in Bangladesh’ concept is a wide aspect to become self-sufficient as a manufacturing country. The policy shouldn’t be confined into one or two companies,” Shahid Ul Munir told the Daily Sun on Tuesday.

He also recommended formulating a framework for a long-term development of the local hardware industry.