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Metropolitan Chamber pushes for higher tax-free income ceiling

Rokia Afzal Rahman, president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, leads a delegation of the chamber to meet Ghulam Hussain, chairman of the National Board of Revenue, to discuss budget proposals at the NBR office in Dhaka yesterday. Photo: MCCI

Rokia Afzal Rahman, president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, leads a delegation of the chamber to meet Ghulam Hussain, chairman of the National Board of Revenue, to discuss budget proposals at the NBR office in Dhaka yesterday. Photo: MCCI

The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday urged the government to increase the tax-free income ceiling for individuals and cut corporate tax.

The chamber recommended resetting the tax-free income ceiling at Tk 2.75 lakh from Tk 2.20 lakh for individuals; Tk 3.25 for women and Tk 3.5 lakh for senior citizens.

MCCI pushes for higher tax-free income ceiling“In the perspective of inordinate escalation of prices of all commodities, the cost of living has increased to a great extent. As a result, the prevalent tax exempted income ceiling has lagged far behind the purpose for which it was considered,??? MCCI said in a budget proposal to the National Board of Revenue yesterday.

The corporate tax rate should be lowered to 20 percent from 27.5 percent now for publicly traded or listed companies and to 25 percent from 37.5 percent for non-publicly traded companies, the chamber proposed.

“For industrialisation, employment generation and the increased foreign direct investments corporate tax rate needs to be reduced immediately.???
The chamber also suggested reducing the flat corporate tax rate for banks, insurance companies and non-bank financial institutes to 35 percent from 42.5 percent.

MCCI sought withdrawal of tax on the transfer of securities or mutual fund units by the sponsor shareholders of a company.

“This statute discourages enlistment with the stock exchange and thereby, it creates hindrances in the wider range of company activities.???

The existing provision rather encourages private placement dispiriting wider prospects of public limited companies, it said. “It disturbs the capital market. As the law stands against flourishing of the economy, it ought to be deleted.???

Proposing to reduce the advance income tax (AIT) at the import stage from 5 percent to 2.5 percent, MCCI said the AIT deduction at import stages on the import value is quite excessive.

“As a result of this heavy deduction, small scale importers become the worst sufferers. Tax demand in non-company cases becomes much less than the deducted amount.???

Seeking tax exemption for the tourism industries, MCCI said this is a burning necessity to help the tourism industry flourish.

Tourism has been the major source of earning foreign currency in many countries; Bangladesh has great prospect in this field, said the chamber.

“This needs investments. To attract investors, the tax exemption facility will work as an incentive,??? it said.

MCCI also proposed reducing the tax payment from 10 percent to 5 percent in filing appeals before the tribunal, withdrawing the limit on overseas travelling expenses and simplifying the tax refund process.

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Source: Daily Star

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