NBR seeks central bank’s intervention to trace tax evaders

Golam Mowla
Published : 02:00, Dec 23, 2018 | Updated : 15:55, Dec 23, 2018

National Board of RevenueThe National Board of Revenue (NBR) has sought the central bank’s intervention in tracing tax evaders as part of its investigation into tax evasion.

The NBR’s Income Policy Wing has written to the Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir on Dec 10 seeking instructions on the matter, an NBR official told Bangla Tribune.

The move came after banks and financial institutions shared incomplete or wrong information on taxpayers defying a recent order of the tax regulatory authority.

The letter says, “Documents on taxpayers’ accounts and transaction in banks, leasing companies and financial institutions are required to learn taxpayers’ earnings as well as to set tax slabs.

In this regard, the NBR issued letters to all banks and financial institutions in line with Section 113 of the Income Tax Ordinance.

“But several banks, leasing companies and financial institutions provide inaccurate data, which is concerning,” it reads.

The letter further says, “In case of taxpayers maintaining several bank accounts, many institutions provide partial or no information.  Sometimes, they even failed to meet the deadline which affects the government revenue

Some even send blank statements, which NBR think is done willingly. As these companies use technology to record data on their clients so they can show any excuse to conceal information.

Any non-cooperation in this regard is punishable under Section 166 (A) of the Ordinance, the letter said.

The section 166 (A) of the Income Tax Ordinance states that if any person or institution is found guilty of ‘concealing’ or ‘deliberately furnishing inaccurate’ information in relation to a taxpayer will face fine and/or imprisonment up to three years.

The NRB official, however, said the banks’ reluctance creates hurdles to NBR’s investigation into tax evasion.

“Banks are obliged to share taxpayers’ details according the law. So, the NBR wrote to the BB governor,” said the official, who preferred to go unnamed.

Bank officials, however, admitted several banks failed to comply with the NBR’s order on sharing information.

President of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) Syed Mahbubur Rahman said, “If the NRB seeks any databanks are obliged to share it.

Banks have no opportunity to conceal the information. However, several institutions may miss the deadline, which needs to verify whey they are doing so,” said Rahman, who is the managing director of private Dhaka Bank.