A total of 122,745 businesses out of 285,530 registered (business identification number) holders have submitted their VAT returns online in 2020-21 fiscal, which is 42.99 percent on an average.
An impressive 96 percent of the taxpayers paid VAT through the newly introduced VAT automation systems of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) in Cumilla.
It is the highest rate of online VAT returns submission among NBR’s 12 commissionerates working across the country.
The Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate of Jessore saw the second highest online VAT submission rate (93 per cent) where 14,291 out of 15,280 businesses submitted their VAT returns online.
Muhammad Belal Hossain Chowdhury, commissioner of Cumilla Commissionerate, said they achieved 96 percent online VAT return submission rate due to strict supervision to check VAT evasion.
“We have gained the results as awareness raising activities were undertaken from the beginning of the last fiscal year. As a result, revenue collection was much higher last fiscal year compared to any other previous fiscals in Cumilla,” he said.
Belal Hossain also said the Cumilla Commissionerate had put emphasis on realizing all arrears and rewarded best performing officials in recognition of their good work and thus took a tough stance to check VAT evasion.
While activities of various government offices have lost pace amid the economic slowdown in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak since March 2020, the Cumilla and Jashore field offices of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) have attained outstanding success in automating the VAT system. An additional commissioner of Dhaka North, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, told the Daily Sun that there are many big companies under the commissionerate, which total VAT related data larger more than five gigabytes. The system does not support such big files, so those large companies could not submit their VAT return through the online system.
Besides, service sector including airlines and luxurious hotel located in the Dhaka North Commissionerate have seen income dropped sharply due to Covid-19 pandemic, also affected the VAT collection.
Despite this obstacle, the NBR has been working hard to achieve fiscal target of revenue collection, he said.
The NBR started accepting VAT returns online from December 2019 to alleviate the sufferings of taxpayers. According to the announcement, VAT returns through online were made mandatory for all businesses from July 1, 2020 – the beginning of the fiscal year 2020-21.
But the automation system installation cannot achieve the set target. The VAT automation project closed on June this year, though the full automation is yet to complete.
Sources of NBR said that different Excise and VAT Commissionerate would be complete the remaining automation program by train up of its officials.