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Tax fair concludes leaving many in queues.

News Report A weeklong tax fair organized by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) witnessed a 7.36 per cent growth in spot revenue earning over the figure of last year, although many taxpayers missed out. At the conclusion of the fair Monday, a total of Tk 4.2 billion was realized on a single day, which was only Tk 137 million the same day in 2017. Taxpaying has been on an upturn every year, but this year marks a difference for the national elections. Loan or tax or bill defaulters are barred from running the race for election. A total of 412,196 taxpayers have submitted their returns during the fair. On the sixth day of the weeklong tax fairs in the capital and in other cities, there was mad rush of visitors and taxpayers in Dhaka. At the tax fair held on the Officers' Club premises, there was a long queue of taxpayers after the visiting hours.

As enthusiasm soared, tax officials continued providing tax-related services even after 5.0 pm. Tax collection and return submission increased by 6.04 per cent and 53.15 per cent respectively in the last six days, said a statement of the revenue board. The taxpayers obtained different tax-related services including electronic taxpayers identification number (TIN), submitted tax returns and paid income tax. On Sunday, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) received Tk 3.41 billion income tax and 69,363 tax returns from the tax-fairs. On that day, tax fairs took place at a total of 67 spots across the country, including all divisional headquarters, 21 districts and 38 upazilas. On the sidelines of the fair, the board arranged a tax education forum, like previous days, for the students of Rajuk Uttara Model Collage. Some 40 students attended the forum and took part in a quiz competition. The NBR said in a media release on Saturday that the fairs at the tax zones aimed to facilitate submitting the tax return. Other tax-related services will also be available in the tax fairs in 56 district headquarters, 34 Upazilas, and moving fairs in 71 Upazilas. But, Income Tax ID Cards, one of the attractions in the recently held main weeklong tax fair at the NBR Building in Dhaka, will not be available in the fairs at the tax zones outside the capital.

At the tax zone fairs in Dhaka, the citizens will be able to collect the cards from Nov 20 to Nov 28 by submitting the return. In the main fair from Nov 1 to 7, the NBR collected Tk 22.17 billion in taxes. The weeklong fair ended with a record turnout of 1.1 million visitors, of which around 300,000 taxpayers submitted their returns. Earlier on Friday, a public holiday, the ongoing week-long Income Tax Fair took a festive mood, the fourth day of fair organized by National Board of Revenue (NBR), as the day was a public holiday. Hundreds of taxpayers rushed to the venue city on the Officer's Club premises in the city long before the gate was opened at 9 am. Long queues of taxpayers were seen waiting to get their tax-related services under one roof without any hassle at the fair. Finance Minister AMA Muhith formally inaugurated the fair Tuesday.

When asked, Abul Kalam Miah, a freedom fighter, said he feels comfortable to submit his tax return during the fair as there is a dedicated booth for freedom fighters. "I've been taking this opportunity for the last eight years and this is a very good gesture of the NBR toward us," he said. Yasmin Farida Bhuiyan, in her mid-60s, said as the fair has a separate booth for the female taxpayers and the senior citizens of the country it is better for anyone to submit their income tax return or anything related to the tax to finish here. Syed Hasan Nasir, who lives in Mohammadpur area of the city, said he avails of the opportunity to submit his tax return at the fair as he always finds solution to any problem under the single roof. "This is the best place to submit your tax return or find any tax-related problem solved," he said. Although the number of taxpayers in the early hours of the working time at the fair venue was thin, it started jumping after 10:30am. Abu Delowar Hossain, who came from Agargaon, emphasised the importance of bringing back the fair to its own building at Agargaon. "It's a matter of pride as the NBR holds the fair in its own building."

The volunteers were seen proactive in maintaining the queue as some taxpayers were reluctant about maintaining discipline. "Everybody hurries to have their works done once they enter the venue, but all need to maintain the queue," a worried volunteer said. Some officials said they felt encouraged when they saw the heavenly smile on the faces of the taxpayers as they get their desired tax-related services done. "These smiling faces are blessings for us," an assistant commissioner of tax said. All Divisional cities are also holding similar fair for seven days while it will be held for four days in 56 districts, two days in 32 upazila and one day in 70 upazilas. November 30 is the last day for submitting the income tax returns for individual taxpayers. For the last two years, the fair had been held at NBR's own office in the city's Agargaon area. To avoid traffic jam due to the ongoing construction of metro rails, the NBR shifted the fair venue from Agargaon to the Officers' Club, said the NBR. The new inclusion in the fair is the tax training through audio visual means.

New taxpayers can collect e-TINs (electronic tax identification numbers) at the fair while other taxpayers also can collect e-TIN through re-registration. Separate booths have been set up at the fair venues for e-payment and freedom fighters, women, people with disabilities and elderly people. The taxpayers will be able to file tax returns and do other tax-related tasks at the fair. Tax collection on the first three days of the ongoing weeklong tax fair has crossed the Tk 1,000-crore mark amid the increasing turnout of individuals taxpayers. The NBR got a total of Tk 1,014.40 crore from all the divisional cities as of Thursday, which was three percent higher from that of the same period last year. During the period, some 1.85 lakh tax returns were also submitted, up 68 percent year-on-year, according to a statement of the NBR. As of Thursday, 6.11 lakh people had received services from taxmen at the fair.The figure was 3.96 lakh last year, officials said. The NBR said 15,764 new taxpayers joined the income tax network by signing up for taxpayers' identification number in the first three days, which is 176 percent year-on-year.
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Publication:The News Today (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Date:Nov 20, 2018
Words:1201
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