The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh on Monday said that the National Board of Revenue should introduce mandatory crosschecking of audit reports submitted by the company taxpayers along with their income tax returns to thwart submission of fake audit reports.
At a pre-budget discussion with the revenue board, the body of professional chartered accountants also demanded bringing international digital marketing companies such as Facebook, Google and Youtube under tax net.
NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhiuyan presided over the meeting held at the NBR headquarters. 
The institute said that the NBR should introduce a provision in the income tax law for mandatory checking of the authenticity of audit reports through communication with the ICAB. 
The institute has an online database which can be accessed by tax officials for checking the names of auditors with the names of companies they audited, the ICAB said. 
Both the parties have already signed a memorandum of understanding on access to the database in a bid to prevent the use of fake audit reports resulting in tax evasion. 
There are allegations that many companies submit fake audit reports along with tax returns to hide actual health of the company to evade taxes. 
ICAB taxation committee chairman Humayun Kabir said that the government should apply income tax measures with prospective effect instead of retrospective effect.
In the written proposal, the ICAB demanded an increase of tax-free income ceiling for individual taxpayers to Tk 3 lakh from existing Tk 2.5 lakh to adjust the ceiling with the rate of inflation.
It also sought reduction in corporate income tax rate gradually by 1 per cent every year up to next five years from current 35 per cent for private limited companies. 
At the meeting, the Bangladesh Cigarette Manufacturers Association demanded lowering corporate income tax and preventing smuggling of cigarettes into the country.
The BCMA also sought a mechanism to increase consumption of high quality cigarettes claiming that consumption of the portion of cigarettes dropped significantly over the years causing reduction of the government’s revenue.
The association did not place any formal proposal at the meeting saying that it would later put forward a written proposal to the NBR. 
British American Tobacco Bangladesh chairman Golam Mainuddin said that the market share went down to lower segment of cigarettes from upper end due to taxation policy of the NBR. 
‘The tax authority should adopt a policy so that consumption of tobacco goes toward upper segment, which will also reduce consumption,’ he said. 
The Printing Industries Association of Bangladesh demanded imposition of customs duty on import of printed materials, mainly textbooks and children’s books, and prevention of misuse of bonded facility given to local paper and ink industries. 
In response, the NBR chairman assured that no printed book would enter into the country without duty from the next budget. 
It will also take steps to prevent misuse of paper and ink imported under bonded warehouse facility, he said. 
He assured that the NBR would prepare a stable tax policy for cigarette industry keeping in mind both protection of the government’s revenue and making the product costlier. 
‘We want to reduce consumption of tobacco products but we have to tolerate the sector until the goal of tobacco-free country is achieved as per declaration of the prime minister,’ he said, adding that addiction to other drugs like yaba would rise if the cigarette industry did not prevail. 
The NBR will also take steps to prevent smuggling of cigarettes into the country, he added.
The NBR will also be tough on low quality tobacco items, including bidi, and smokeless tobacco products like Zarda and Gul, he said. 
BATB managing director Shezad Munim, Dhaka Tobacco Ltd managing director SK Bashir Uddin, Printing Industries Association of Bangladesh chairman Tofail Khan, ICAB member Snehashish Barua, among others, spoke at the meeting.

Source : New Age