- AMTOB wants rationalisation of corporate income tax, elimination of SIM tax, and minimum turnover tax exemption
- The sector contributes to the GDP at an estimated rate of 7% per year
- ERF for increasing the tax-free income limit for individual taxpayers from Tk3 lakh to Tk4 lakh
- It wants the limit to be raised to Tk5 lakh for women and senior citizens
The country's mobile network operators have called upon the revenue authorities to bring in reforms in the tax policy for the telecommunication industry to reap more benefits from the sector.
The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) placed its budget proposals for the forthcoming 2021-22 fiscal year to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Thursday.
Rationalisation of corporate income tax, elimination of SIM tax, and minimum turnover tax exemption are among the mobile network operators' demands to increase their contribution to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
AMTOB Secretary General Brig Gen SM Farhad (retd) said, "The government imposes new tax burdens on the mobile sector every year. We request the government to give up this practice and maintain a business-friendly environment."
"It is important to keep in mind this sector has kept the country's economy afloat. It is contributing to the GDP at an estimated rate of 7% per year."
Notable among the recommendations of the AMTOB for next year are withdrawal or rationalisation of the minimum 2% turnover tax paid by mobile service providers even if they are not profitable, providing amortisation facilities on all intangible assets, abolition of the Tk200 tax on mobile SIM, and reasonable reduction of VAT, SD and surcharge of 33.25% and 21.75% on talktime and Internet usage for every Tk100.
ERF puts forward 27 proposals
Earlier, in a separate budget discussion, the Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF) made 27 proposals on income tax, VAT, tariffs and empowerment of the NBR.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is going to be officially recognised as a developing country in 2024, the organisation said at that time the government will have to provide duty-free access to imported goods by signing free trade agreements (FTAs) or preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with different countries.
Then the NBR's import duty collection will reduce significantly, it said, adding that the NBR has to take preparation right away to face the situation.
ERF President Sharmeen Rinvi said the coronavirus has made a dent into individual incomes. Therefore, the tax-free income limit for individual taxpayers can be increased from Tk3 lakh to Tk4 lakh and that for women and persons above 60 years of age to Tk5 lakh.
Sharmeen Rinvi further said money laundering is taking place by abusing bond licenses. "It can be said that trade-based money laundering is the most common. In 2015, the Money Laundering Act empowered the NBR to punish money launderers. So, we think it is important to build a specialised unit and equip it with adequate manpower to prevent money laundering.