VAT to be paid online from home


DHAKA, July 13, 2020 (BSS) – Although the business establishments make VAT payments every month alongside submitting their returns, the business entities would now be able to make VAT payments to the government exchequer directly from their bank accounts through online.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to launch VAT e-payment system in this regard from July 16.

The NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem would formally inaugurate the VAT e-payment System which has been implemented under the VAT Online Project.

Under the project, e-payment module has been created while this system has been tested (User Acceptance Test) at client-level by three local and foreign banks. As the test results came out successful and satisfactory, this system is now going to be introduced formally.

When contacted, VAT Online Project Director Kazi Mostafizur Rahman told BSS that through using this system, any businessman registered under VAT would be able to make VAT payment, supplementary duty or any other tax directly to the state coffer from his or her own bank accounts with ease and comfort and also within less time. “There will be no harassment for the VAT payers under the e-payment system,” he added.

The NBR has been implementing the VAT Online Project with support from the World Bank which aims to facilitate the new VAT Act. This project is expected to be completed by this December.

The business insiders, however, opined that the VAT Act is yet to yield full results since the VAT operations could not go under full automation.

The concerned businessmen said that once the e-payment system is launched, then the VAT Act would benefit the business community more.

Mostafizur informed the national news agency that initially some 100 top business houses would get the e-payment facility on priority basis as around 30 percent of the overall VAT collection come from these business establishments. Later, all the eligible businesses will come under this e-payment system.

Earlier in September last year, the submission of online VAT returns started on monthly basis, but there was no scope for VAT payment through online. Since the necessary work on software has been completed, it will now be possible to make VAT payments alongside submitting VAT returns.

NBR officials said initially e-payment operations were run at three branches of HSBC, Prime and Midland Bank and there was no complexity and difficulty in VAT payment. From now on, all the commercial banks would come under this system.

According to this system, the copy of VAT invoice will automatically go to Bangladesh Bank, CGA and VAT office after VAT payment. One copy of VAT invoice will also go to the VAT payer for which transparency will be ensured in VAT payment while no scope for VAT evasion will exist.

On the other hand, work is going on to ensure VAT refund automatically as some softwares are being developed in this regard which will ultimately facilitate the business community.

VAT refund is being considered as the main reform of VAT automation which is currently being done through conventional method or manually which has some alleged incidents of harassment.

VAT Online Project Director Mostafizur said once this process is completed, then cheques will directly be deposited with the bank accounts of concerned businesses while full automation is likely to be completed by this December.

Under the VAT Online Project, around 1.66 lakh business establishments have so far been registered while some 100 to 150 new business establishments are taking registration every month. However, 42,000 business firms submit their VAT returns every month on average through manually and also through online.

As per the VAT Act, any registered business house needs to submit VAT return mandatorily by the 15th of next month. In default, the Revenue Board will realize interest and fine. But, the government has now waved such interest due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.