BANGLADESH: Offshore tax amnesty not for bringing black money, says NBR chairman.

As published on tbsnews.net, Monday 8 August, 2022.

The offshore tax amnesty offered by the government is an opportunity to make it easier for bringing legitimate money from abroad, said National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem.

"No opportunity was given to bring black money to the country through this," he said at a press conference at the capital's Segunbagicha on Sunday.

The NBR chief also said that various parties including the media are misinterpreting the matter.

However, according to the NBR's initiative in the budget, the source of the offshore money will not be questioned.

When asked how can they be sure whether the money coming from abroad is not black, the NBR chairman or other officials did not give any answer.

The government in the budget for FY2022-23 provided a window for people to bring back undeclared offshore funds home by paying a 7.5% tax without facing any question, a move that was widely criticised.

At the press conference, the NBR chairman said, "People earn money in other countries too, but they do not keep the money there because of the low bank rates."

"On the other hand, the normal tax rate in the country (5% to a maximum of 25%) also discourages them to bring that money here. For this NBR has given this scope, so that more tax can be collected in future," he said.

"Black money will not come through offshore amnesty, and the amount of such money is very low," he added.

"Last year, the NBR collected revenue of Tk301,633 crores, with a shortfall of Tk28,362 crores," the NBR chairman said, adding that the revenue growth has been around 16%.

However, the growth is less than 15% according to the finance minister's estimate of NBR's revenue.

When asked about this mismatch regarding revenue data, the NBR chairman said some mismatch remains due to the existing system.

According to NBR data, customs duty collection increased by around 16%, VAT by 11% and tax collection by around 22%.

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