Two-thirds of taxpayers yet to file returns with one work-day remaining
Around two-thirds of the registered income taxpayers have not filed their income tax returns with one day left before the end of the scheduled deadline on Sunday, officials of the National Board of Revenue on Thursday said. Out of the 13.30 lakh taxpayers registered with the online registration system of the NBR, only less than 4.5 lakh people submitted their income tax returns by this time, they said.
Even, more than half of the regular taxpayers who paid tax in the last fiscal year of 2013-2014 did not submit their returns, according to provisional data of the NBR.
In the last fiscal year, around 10.50 lakh taxpayers filed their returns and paid tax, the data showed.
If the number of existing traditional and online taxpayer identification number holders is taken into consideration, only one-fourth TIN holders submitted their returns as there are 17.52 lakh individual TIN holders in the country.
Due to the poor and depressing response from the individual taxpayers, the revenue board may again extend the deadline by 15 days to one month, officials said.
The decision may be disclosed on Sunday, the last day of the extended deadline.
The revenue board may attribute the extension to the current spell of hartals, Eid and Puja holidays in early October and request from the trade bodies for such extension, officials said.
They said that taxpayers became lethargic in filing returns and paying tax by the deadline as the revenue board extended the deadline several times over the last few years.
In the current year, most of the taxpayers did not submit their returns by the deadline assuming that the revenue board would extend the deadline again.
‘I received many phone calls from the taxpayers who wanted to know the possible extension of the time limit for filing returns,’ a senior official of the NBR said.
In future, it will be very difficult for the NBR to compel the taxpayers to submit the returns within the scheduled deadline starting from July 1 to September 30, he said.
The NBR has already extended the time limit by one month to November 2.
The revenue board gathered information up to October 23 regarding submission of income tax returns by the taxpayers.
According to the data, only 3.30 lakh taxpayers submitted their returns by that time.
Though the NBR is yet to count the number of returns it received till Thursday, the number may be at best around 4.5 lakh, officials said.
They said that this year the number of returns should be around 14 lakh as by this time around 4 lakh fresh taxpayers got registration with the NBR online database and took taxpayers identification number.
Under the NBR move to make registered all existing taxpayers with its online system, 9.32 lakh taxpayers replaced their traditional 10-digit TINs with 12-digit e-TINs while another 3.98 people received fresh e-TINs till October 22, according to the NBR data.
According to the income tax ordinance, the NBR can fine Tk 1,000 at a time and Tk 50 for each day for not filing returns within the deadline.
A taxpayer, however, can personally apply for extension of the deadline citing appropriate reasons and deputy commissioners of taxes can give him a three-month extension for filing returns.
Joint commissioner of taxes may allow three more months to a taxpayer for submission of income tax returns, according to the ordinance.
The revenue board usually extends the deadline every year.
In last year, it extended the time limit for three times up to December 31.
-With New Age input