Telcos, others demand corporate tax cut

Telecommunication companies on Sunday proposed that the National Board of Revenue should reduce the corporate tax rate to ensure ease of doing business in the national budget for the forthcoming financial year 2023-24.

Tobacco and beverage manufacturing businesses also made the same demand.

The businesses said that the corporate tax in Bangladesh was higher than that in the other countries.

The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh, the British American Tobacco Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Bidi Shilpa Malik Samity and the Bangladesh Beverage Manufacturers Association presented their respective budget proposals at a pre-budget discussion with the NBR at its office at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital Dhaka.

The AMTOB presented 16 proposals related to income tax, value-added tax, import duty and supplementary duty.

It proposed withdrawing value-added tax on the SIM sales, saying that mobile connectivity was basic rights of people.

It demanded withdrawing or reducing the minimum advance tax rate on sales of services and withdrawing the minimum turnover tax for the mobile operators.

The association also proposed including mobile services as exemption from tax deduction at source like other digital services, including bank, insurance, mobile financial services or financial institutions as per the Income Tax Ordinance 1984.

It suggested introducing separate HS codes for telecom machinery, equipment and software.

The BATB proposed strictly controlling the use of fake banderole and fake cigarettes, saying that the government was losing huge amounts of revenue annually for that.

It also demanded offering tax rebate facility on payment for corporate social responsibility expenditure.

The BBMA proposed reducing the VAT and source tax burden on beverage products at production and consumer stages.

The Bangladesh Shipping Agents’ Association and the Bangladesh Tax Lawyers’ Association also presented their proposals to the NBR at a separate meeting on the day.

The BSAA demanded fully adopting the automaton system at the customs process to reduce cost and time of import and export trade.

It also demanded reducing or withdrawing source tax on payment of fees and withdrawing the provision of traders’ liability from the agents.

The BTLA proposed extending the taxable income limit for the individual taxpayers to Tk 5 lakh from the existing Tk 3 lakh and reduce corporate tax rate.

It also proposed strengthening the alternative dispute regulation-based solution capacity. 

NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem presided over the meeting.

AMTOB secretary general SM Farhad, BATB managing director Shehzad Munim, NBR income tax policy member Sams Uddin Ahmed, VAT policy member Zakia Sultana and customs policy member Md Masud Sadiq, among others, attended the programmes.

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