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Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the new value-added tax law would be fully implemented by 2021 and the rates would be multiple instead of a single one.The rates will be determined at the time of implementation and may be 15 percent, 7.5 percent and 5 percent, he said.“There will be a lot of exemption,” he said at an award ceremony at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka. - A home for your website

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) honoured 144 firms for depositing the highest amount of VAT to the state coffer in fiscal year of 2016-17.

Of the entities recognised for being compliant to laws in forwarding the tax paid by consumers, nine operate at the national level and the remaining 135 at district level.
State-run Titas, Habiganj and Srikail gas fields topped the list in the manufacturing sector category. Orion Infrastructure Ltd, the operator and manager of Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover in Dhaka, ranked first in the service roll.

TÜV SÜD Bangladesh Pvt Ltd, a global certification, testing and auditing firm, and Somoy Media Ltd followed suit.

In trading, SC Johnson Pvt Ltd, Wärtsilä Bangladesh Ltd and KCJ & Associates Ltd were the top three companies.

Muhith also suggested abolition of tariff value or VAT rates based on administered-prices.

“Tariff rate is a very distorted system. It must be totally eliminated. If the price of a product is very high, the VAT should be zero.”

Iqbal Mahmood, chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission, suggested the NBR improve system and reduce the discretionary power of revenue officials.

“People want to pay tax and it is necessary to lessen their fear.”

Mahmud was also critical of the prevalence of package VAT, which allows paying a fixed amount in VAT instead of VAT on the actual sale.

“The package VAT is a problem. You have to streamline the system,” Mahmood said.

This was the 13th year the NBR acknowledged the highest VAT-paying firms in an effort to boost collection from VAT, now the biggest source of revenue followed by income tax and customs duty.

In 2017-18, VAT accounted for 38 percent of the total tax collection of Tk 206,407 crore. The NBR has been tasked with raising the collection by 39 percent in the current fiscal year.

NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan chaired the event, which was organised as part of the VAT Day and VAT Week.

In Chattogram city, the Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate awarded seven firms at a ceremony at the World Trade Centre, reports our staff correspondent.

The awardees are Chowdhury Tea Warehouse, AM Channel, Sayeman Beach Resort, Hotel Niloy, Rubel Enterprise, Rana Enterprise and Hotel Hill View.

The award aims at encouraging compliance and raising awareness as tax evasion and avoidance is believed to be rampant.