NBR asks field offices to enforce new VAT act

29 Apr 2017, 18:05 | updated: 29 Apr 2017, 18:07


Dhaka: The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has issued a seven-point directive to its field offices to implement the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act, 2012 properly from July 1.

The government has taken the move to implement the new act from the next fiscal year amid opposition by businesses, including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the country's apex trade body.

The country's businesspeople have long been opposing the new VAT Law. Small traders have been paying Value Added Tax (VAT) in a package system for a long time but it has no legal basis.

The Finance Minister on several occasions expressed his resolve to implement the new law with uniform 15 percent value added tax (VAT) on products and services from July, replacing the present VAT Act 1991.

At present, consumers pay different rates of VAT on products and services. For example, they provide 15 percent VAT on food items, 7.5 percent on the English medium schools' tuition fees and 5 percent on garment and jewellery products.

A bill on VAT law is pending with Parliament and it will be passed in its June session. "The Finance Minister has already given a directive to complete all the necessary works keeping in mind that the new VAT law will be put in place in July," a senior NBR official told UNB.

Following the Finance Minister's directive, he said, NBR chairman M Nojibur Rahman asked its commissioners and negligence agencies to be serious in this regard.

The seven directives that the NBR chairman sent to the field-level offices include keeping close contact with all chambers and trade organizations, making businesspeople more aware of the new law, conducting training sessions in all districts and upazilas in phases, continuing training on new VAT law for all officials, making the online VAT registration successful, properly operating VAT online service centers and ensuring services to all stakeholders.

The directives also include making presentations on the new law in all monthly coordination meetings at district and upazila levels, taking well-coordinated initiatives with officials from VAT, Income Tax and Customs wings.

The NBR chairman also asked the field-level officials to send progress reports to him every week.