Now foreign nationals to come under tax net
02 March 2016, Nirapad News: The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to form an integrated central task force to monitor income tax payment and penal provisions for checking tax evasion by the foreign nationals working in Bangladesh. The task force will bring the foreign nationals under the tax net and take punitive action against tax-dodging foreign workers and their employers, said a press release.
The NBR has taken an initiative to devise a long-term work plan to properly monitor tax payment of the foreign nationals. If necessary, it will penalise the employers and initiate criminal proceedings against them for employing illegal foreigners. To discuss the issue, the NBR held a meeting with the apex chamber leaders and other businesses on Tuesday and sought their co-operation in ensuring tax compliance by the foreign citizens. NBR chairman and secretary to the Internal Resources Division (IRD) Md Nojibur Rahman chaired the meeting. The meeting decided to form the integrated task force comprising representatives from the Board of Investment (BoI), Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA), NGO Bureau, National Security Intelligence (NSI), Special Branch (SB), Passport and Immigration Division, Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh Telecommunica-tion Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
The entities preserve data on the foreign nationals in Bangladesh. A data bank will be prepared on tax payment by foreign nationals with information about the organisations that compile information on foreign nationals. An awareness building programme will be arranged with participation of the representatives from leading chambers including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) etc. The Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) will conduct instant drive to impose tax and take punitive action against the tax-dodging foreigners and their employers. Before their departure, foreign nationals will have to show and submit tax clearance certificates at the airports and land ports as per section 107 of income tax ordinance 1984. Speaking at the meeting, the NBR chairman said the NBR is moving in a systematic approach to ensure tax collection from the foreign nationals.
The process will also ensure ‘legal working environment’ for the foreign nationals who will come to Bangladesh in future, he said. “The NBR will also be able to get information from BB about foreign nationals’ money transfer abroad and payment of actual amount of tax,” he said. Many foreign nationals are working at the country’s engineering, medical, garment, merchandising and other industries. There are allegations over existence of illegal foreign workers in many companies. They are taking large amount of remuneration but leaving the country without paying tax with help of their employers.