Planning minister calls for income tax reforms

Planning minister calls for income tax reforms

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Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday called for reforming the income tax ordinance 1984 for increasing tax revenue. “We must go for reforming the income tax ordinance 1984. I don’t understand why the ordinance has not been made an act yet,” he told a discussion on ‘Budget 2014: Tax Proposal’ organised by Daily Bhorer Kagoj at the Jatiya Press Club. Kamal said about 40 lakh people have TIN certificates in the country, but the number of tax payers is only about 12 lakh,” Mustafa Kamal said. He suggested limited issue of TIN certificates. He said at least 10 million citizens should be brought under the tax net as per the size of the national budget. The planning minister said the rate of the corporate tax should be cut down. He questioned the justification of high corporate tax rate in Bangladesh. According to him the rate is about 15 percent in Singapore. He said the per capita income in Bangladesh is going up rapidly, which will be $2100 in 2021. “Today’s per capita income is $1180.” Addressing the function, former adviser to a caretaker government Dr Akbar Ali khan said there is little prospects of any debate on tax related problems in the Parliament as the House has no real opposition. “The problems lie with the way the parliament was formed. Though there is an opposition on paper, I doubt whether there is any opposition in reality,” he said. Dr. Ali said the government should consider reform to VAT system saying that the VAT-net is widening gradually which creates pressure on consumers. The Sixth Five Year Plan (2011-2015) should be massively reshuffled, he said. Former chairman of the National Board of Revenue Dr Mohammad Abdul Mazid said ordinary people suffer when they went to pay taxes. He said that corporate tax rate for tobacco and telecom companies should be higher. Editor of Daily Bhorer Kagoj Shyamal Dutta moderated the roundtable, while tax lawyer Advocate Jahangir Alam Chowdhury presented the keynote paper. In the keynote paper, Jahangir Alam said harassment of tax payers caused by intervention of the Auditor General Office must stop. He said that the auditor and the advocate of the tax payers should not be the same person. The tax lawyer placed a number of proposals including imposing income taxes on realtors, removal of complexities related to collection of income tax and VAT, ensuring receipt immediate after tax payment, reducing corporate tax rate, evaluating and respecting honest tax payers, introducing a provision to prevent income tax return audit and re-fixation of taxes without specific reasons. – UNB

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