Experts emphasised simplifying tax laws so that ratio of tax revenue compared to gross domestic product (GDP) can be increased by widening revenue collection from the economic growth centres.
While addressing a seminar organised by International Business Forum Bangladesh (IBFB) on Saturday marking the centenary of income tax law in the sub-continent, rhey also suggested strengthening technology footprints in tax administration.
In the keynote, Snehasish Barua suggested a comprehensive IT strategy by allocating an adequate budget. For automation in tax administration, he underscored the importance of proper organogram, recruitment of competent resources, utilising internal resources and national data centres.
“Revenue collections are much dependent on TDS (tax deducted at source) but the current rate(s) must be reduced keeping in line with reduction of corporate tax rate in the last three years. Training must be arranged on accounting, legal, business process and technology issues at tax academy for the tax officials in collaboration with professional bodies like ICAB,” he said.
The partner of Snehasish Mahmud & Co suggested spreading the tax offices upto union level for more collections of revenue from growth centres.
“Collaboration may be made with the VAT wing of NBR to reduce operating cost at those growth centres,” he added.
As per the Perspective Plan 2041, Bangladesh tax-GDP ratio should rise to 17 percent by 2031, and almost 22 percent by 2041 while direct tax percentage to GDP is targeted to raise to 9.5 percent from the current ratio of 2.6 percent by more than 4 times by 2041.
“Dialogue and discussions are badly needed to solve state-related problems. A wide range of discussion in reforming outdated tax laws is now a timely demand and the discussion should not be stopped in taking the country forward,” he said.
Legal economist MS Siddiqui said, "Bangladesh is still practicing injustice in tax affairs. Tax collection method is not improved as the vision of increasing GDP ratio is impossible in absence of dynamism in tax law."
Former attorney general Hassan Ariff, National Board of Revenue (NBR) former chairman Muhammad Abdul Majid, IBFB former president Hafizur Rahman Khan and vice president Lutfunnisa Saudia Khan were also present on the occasion.