3,220 taxpayers come clean, NBR gets Tk 380cr | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 01, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:08 AM, December 01, 2020

3,220 taxpayers come clean, NBR gets Tk 380cr

Some 3,220 individual taxpayers have so far disclosed their undeclared properties, enabling the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to get Tk 380 crore from the amnesty it offered to holders of black money that none would be able to question the sources of income.

However, responses from owners of undisclosed income regarding investing in stock markets remain lukewarm as only 138 taxpayers declared investing their undisclosed money into securities such as stock, mutual fund, bond and debentures.

The NBR fetched Tk 19 crore from stock investors who availed the benefit of showing undeclared incomes on payment of 10 per cent tax on the invested amount, a development that apparently shows that the condition of a one-year lock-in of the invested amount discourages many.

"We expect that collection will increase as more people are likely to declare their moveable and immoveable properties to take the opportunity to legalise their incomes without facing any question," said a senior official of the NBR seeking to remain unnamed.

The government gave the scope to legalise undisclosed incomes without question in its bid to generate an increased amount of revenue as the pandemic-induced economic slowdown affected tax collection.

Until last fiscal year, taxpayers could declare their undisclosed incomes as per income tax rule. However, very few would show interest to take the opportunity as other state agencies could ask the sources of such incomes.

Against the backdrop, the NBR brought the new provision in the law that none would raise the question about the sources of income.

Under the new provision, individual taxpayers will be able to disclose any undisclosed properties, including land, buildings and flats, by paying a specific amount of tax per square metre depending on the location of the properties.

Taxpayers will also be able to show their undisclosed cash, bank deposits, savings certificates, shares, bonds or any other securities in their income tax returns by paying 10 per cent tax on the amount—much lower than the highest rate at 25 per cent for individual taxpayers.

The NBR offered the benefit to the holders of black money for one year, from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

The NBR official said queries from tax consultants increased in recent times for clarification related to disclosure of undeclared income in tax returns.

And the extension of the deadline for submission of income tax returns for one more month is likely to give a further impetus to the holders of undeclared money, the official added.

Over the years, the government has allowed legalising black money. However, responses remain lukewarm.

In fiscals 2007-08 and 2008-09, Tk 9,682.99 crore was legalised during the regime of the army-backed caretaker government, which was the highest in the country's history, the NBR data showed.

In the previous two governments of the Awami League, Tk 1,805 crore and Tk 4,856 crore were legalised respectively.

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