Bangladesh to extend income tax return submission deadline amid surging coronavirus cases

  • Abdur Rahim Harmachi, Chief Economics Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-11-29 02:59:14 BdST

bdnews24

The National Board of Revenue is extending the deadline for income tax return submission for those who are failing to file the papers within time amid a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths.

NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem is making the announcement on Sunday,

a day before the stipulated time for return submission ends, officials of the board told bdnews24.com.

None of them agreed to comment on record about the extension, but several officials said the NBR is likely to extend the deadline for a month or two and waive fines for late submission in this period.

All those officials requested anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to the media about the decision.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal consented to the extension before travelling to Singapore for treatment on Saturday, said an income tax official at the NBR.

The NBR said in a statement on Saturday night that its Chairman Muneem will speak at a press conference at its Segunbagicha office in Dhaka at 10am on Sunday.

The NBR now has the authority to waive fines and interests in line with a presidential order issued in light of the coronavirus pandemic before the passage of the national budget for 2020-21.

It can now waive the fines for late submission for a month or two, or extend the deadline for return submission both but moves will yield the same outcome.

“Everything is being done for the sake of the country. We all realise how difficult a time we are going through. Even the tax fair was not organised this time due to the pandemic,” said an NBR official.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, tax lawyers and taxpayers of different professions have written to the NBR demanding an extension to the deadline for return submission due to the outbreak.

“We had asked the NBR to extend the deadline earlier. Now the number of infections has grown further. I hope the NBR will extend the deadline or offer other options considering the taxpayers’ problems,”  FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim told bdnews24.com on Saturday night.

Ahsan H Mansur, the executive director at the Policy Research Institute, also believes the NBR should waive the fines and interests for a month or two in order to ease pressure on the taxpayers amid shrinking income due to the crisis.

“It (waiver) won’t cause the NBR to lose much because the largest portion of income tax comes from tax at source,” the analyst said.

A country of roughly 160 million, Bangladesh has 4.6 million people with Tax Identification Number or TIN. Around 2.2 million of them submit tax returns.