The Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, Chattogram is going to install 400 new electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) at the beginning of February this year to increase VAT collection in the division.
The officials concerned hope that through various initiatives – like installing EFDs and organising VAT fairs – a new record will be set in the collection of VAT in the future, overcoming the negative growth of the last fiscal year and the first half of the current fiscal year.
The EFDs will be connected to the central server of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the VAT levied will be deducted as soon as the buyer makes a payment.
Chattogram VAT Commissionerate Deputy Commissioner Syed Ahmed Rubel told The Business Standard that the EFDs will be installed in: residential hotels, restaurants, fast food shops, sweets shops, beauty parlours, ready-made garments shops, department stores, and gyms. Earlier, 120 EFDs were installed in Chattogram last year.
He further said, "According to the Value Added Tax Act, traders with an annual transaction of more than Tk50 lakh in Bangladesh will be subject to VAT. A preliminary survey in Chattogram has identified 900 businesses as suitable for EFD use. More will be listed in phases."
According to the Chattogram VAT Commissionerate, the revenue collection target in Chattogram for the July-December period of the fiscal year 2020-21 was set at Tk5,527 crore, against which Tk3,886 crore was collected.
The VAT collection in the first half of this fiscal year is TK1,641 crore or 29.69% less than the target.
In the fiscal year 2018-19, positive growth of 21.66% was achieved in Chattogram, but it did not continue in the following years. In the fiscal year 2019-20, 14.6% negative growth and in the first six months of the current fiscal year 14.3% negative growth was posted in Chattogram.
Two-day VAT fairs to be organised every month
To increase VAT collection, the Chattogram VAT Commissionerate has started organising two-day VAT fairs, on a monthly basis, in eight divisions simultaneously. The VAT fairs organised on 11-12 January this year were very successful, said sources.
There are eight divisions – Agrabad, Chandgaon, Chattola, Rangamati, Patiya, Cox's Bazar, Khagrachari, and Bandarban – under the Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, Chattogram.
Mohammad Akbar Hossain, commissioner at Chattogram VAT Commissionerate, told TBS, "The VAT fairs have created interest and enthusiasm among traders to file VAT returns online. Moreover, EFDs are being installed in various business establishments to prevent VAT evasion. As a result, we expect that revenue collection will exceed our target by the end of the current financial year."
Among the 12 VAT commissionerates of the country, the highest number of VAT returns was submitted at the Chattogram VAT Commissionerate's fair.
According to sources, 89,628 VAT returns were filed online across the country for the tax period of December last year. Of these, 16,275 VAT returns have been submitted at the Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, Chattogram, which is highest among the 12 commissionerates in the country.
The total number of VAT registered institutions in Chattogram is 27,427, and 60% of them submit VAT returns online.
Tk1,934 crore pending in 1,023 cases
There are 1,023 cases running in the eight divisions under the Chattogram VAT Commissionerate. Many of these cases have been running for 20-25 years.
Chattogram VAT Commissionerate Assistant Commissioner Anurupa Dev said the amount of revenue involved in these cases is Tk1,934 crore.
The highest amount of VAT is due in Agrabad with 272 cases involving Tk684 crore.
Apart from that: Tk505 crore is due in 202 cases in Chandgaon, Tk190 crore in 276 cases in Chattola, Tk34 crore in 29 cases in Rangamati, Tk151 crore due in 89 cases in Patiya, Tk44 crore due in 33 cases in Cox's Bazar, Tk309 crore due in 118 cases in Khagrachari, and Tk15 crore in four cases in Bandarban.