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NBR reforms survey zone to boost tax collection

The National Board of Revenue has decided to conduct structural reform in its central tax survey zone to strengthen its capacity and effectiveness in conducting survey and expanding tax net.
The decision came after 16 years of ineffectiveness of the zone to revive it dedicated for survey activities, officials said.
They said that NBR had already formed a nine-member committee headed by its member (audit, intelligence and investigation) Arifa Shahana to examine the feasibility of expansion and reforms of the survey zone.
According to NBR decision, the committee would make recommendations on making the zone effective, determining specific jurisdiction and allotting taxpayers’ identification numbers and proposing a structural reconstruction and the areas of reforms for the zone.
Earlier, on November 20 NBR made the decision in its board meeting following a proposal of the CTS zone.
At the meeting, NBR chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that NBR should find out ways to utilise the CTS zone in finding potential income taxpayers.
The zone was established in 1992 to find out potential new taxpayers through regular survey.
The zone spotted 10 lakh new taxpayers through surveys during 1992-2001 and sent the details of those taxpayers to other terrestrial tax zones for bringing them under the tax net keeping 20 per cent under its control.
Since 2002, the zone remained ineffective as the tax authorities suspended its main activities including conducting survey and issuing TINs over dissatisfaction on performance.
NBR also empowered other field offices to carry out survey but the offices could not do it regularly due to their engagement in core activities namely tax collection, assessment and audit.
The taxpayers’ data retrieval system, a computer-based data collection process of the zone, also remained closed due to lack of manpower and technical support, he said.

Under the system, the zone could retrieve taxpayers’ data from other government agencies like Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and registration office.
NBR officials said that the committee would also suggest about required logistics support, expansion and manpower.
NBR would take its next steps to revive the CTS zone based on the report of the committee, they said.
They said that the zone was also mulling over launching a five-year plan to find out 1 crore new taxpayers through survey across the country and using modern technology.
It would seek help from city corporations, utility service providers, banks, land registration office and other relevant public-private offices to track new taxpayers, they added.
Currently, the zone deals with tax files of only 2,000 individual taxpayers and monitors advance tax collection from land and cars by its circles located at Dhaka, Chattogram, Khulna and Rajshahi.