Deployment of e-TDS to fight tax evasion: NBR


| Update:
07 October 2021 10:17:06

The National Revenue Council (NBR) on Wednesday launched the electronic withholding tax (e-TDS) system across the country to verify the evasion.

Thanks to this automation, some 350,000 taxpayers, mostly businesses, will be able to deduct tax at source in a simplified way and deposit it in the Treasury.

The BNR collects 64 percent of its direct taxes as TDS.

A team of 21 tax officers developed the e-TDS system by interconnecting with the Challan or AChallan automated system of the Ministry of Finance.

Currently, tax deduction authorities have to manually submit 26 types of reports to the tax authorities per year.

NBR officials said reports will now be submitted through the e-TDS system without visiting tax offices.

The system was launched during a program, the “Official Deployment of e-TDS,” chaired by NBR President Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, at NBR Headquarters.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of Bangladesh Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury was the principal guest and principal secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Abdur Rouf Talukder, as the special guest of the event.

Addressing the program, Mr Muslim Chowdhury said the long-awaited e-TDS system (almost seven years) will help make the technology platform fluid.

He suggested creating an efficient and transparent e-TDS reimbursement mechanism without delay or dilemma to ensure justice for the taxpayer.

“The automated system would bring transparency to the tax collection process. The system will collect taxes instead of the tax authorities.”

The CAG observed that disputes or delays in filing taxes would also be minimized.

The e-TDS system should be integrated with online tax returns and electronic payment system to increase its success.

NBR chief Mr Muneem also acknowledges that the reimbursement system is not yet well developed, which needs to be corrected to gain the trust of the taxpayer.

He said the NBR has fallen behind on its automation milestones, but awareness among officials has started to bear fruit now. “We will be launching another automated system by the end of the month,” he added.

Mr Rouf said an automated system would help check for irregularities and leaks.

A lot of government funds were wasted because some of the automated systems were not working properly.

“We first changed the rules and regulations before launching the automated system,” Rouf said.

The automated system has helped the Ministry of Finance improve the effectiveness of retirement and stimulus plans.

Some 82,000 retirees disappeared from the list of 0.9 million retirees because the automated system checked them. It has helped the government save Tk 12 billion of its funds for retirees, the secretary added.

He says some 20 million people are expected to pay taxes, but it’s currently less than 10 to 15 percent.

The e-TDS system will also make it possible to minimize the discrepancies between the data on the collection of tax revenues from the BNR and the Auditor General.

NBR (Income Tax Policy) member Md Alamgir Hossain said the previous decision to launch an automated system through the MIST or Bitex project had failed, but the NBR is now using its own resources to succeed.

Already 1,000 companies have their respective usernames and passwords to use the e-TDS system, he adds.

Niaz Morshed, Second Secretary of the NBR Tax Wing, gave a detailed presentation of the e-TDS.

Using the system, he says, taxpayers will be able to deposit TDS through mobile financial services, a credit card or any regular bank.

The system will be integrated with the online declaration system, VAT IVAS and all financial institutions in the future.

Assistant Tax Commissioner Ariful Huq explained the process for using the system.

Taxes must monitor TDS deposits of corporate taxpayers under 53 articles of the Income Tax Ordinance 1984.

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