The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has intensified its search for new taxpayers to boost the government's revenue, especially in the form of income tax.
The Board is conducting a 'holding-to-holding' survey to bring new taxpayers under the existing taxpayers' identification number (TIN) network, official sources said.
"We have launched a special drive to bring an additional 250,000 people under the TIN net in the current fiscal year," said an NBR official.
The source further said the total number of TIN-holders is expected to reach 2.0 million within next June.
The NBR also has a plan to bring at least 2.5 million prospective taxpayers under its (TIN) system by June 2008.
Under the current drive, house owners in the major cities, especially those eligible to pay income tax, will initially be brought under the blank TIN system.
The NBR authority has already directed its commissionrates to conduct searches for fresh taxpayers, said officials.
Apart from the current move to increase the number of TIN holders, process is also on to ensure realisation of income tax from the new TIN-holders, officials said.
The Board has already streamlined its monitoring and scrutiny processes so that the TIN-holders continue to submit their income tax returns accordingly.
Presently, the total number of TIN-holders is estimated at 1.7 million, out of them some 900,000 submit income tax returns regularly, said an official.
Besides, the NBR is able to realise income tax from 600,000 to 750,000 people, he said, noting that the number is 'extremely poor' in respect of the country's total population.
Also citing the existing mismatch between the number of TIN-holders and actual taxpayers, officials acknowledged that a large number of TIN-holders are either 'irregular' of 'fakes'.
Against this backdrop, the authority has already initiated a process to delete the false TINs out of the system through verifying their authenticity.
Earlier, the NBR introduced a centrally controlled TIN system in place of a blank application process to make its application more time-befitting and effective.
Such a shift was mainly because of the fact that the payment of income tax under the self-assessment system declined considerably, despite a substantial increase in the use of the previous blank TIN system, officials noted.
Meanwhile, the collection of income tax under the NBR was less than target during the July-December period of the current fiscal despite showing a substantial growth over the same period of last fiscal.
According to official figures, the NBR generated Tk 24.18 billion as income tax until December of the current fiscal while the amount was Tk 19.59 billion during the same period last fiscal.
The government has fixed the target of generating income tax worth Tk 69.50 billion for the entire 2005-06 fiscal.