Mini-tax fairs have started gaining momentum in the tax zones across the country with only 10 days left for submission of tax returns by individual taxpayers.
The deadline for submission of tax returns by individual taxpayers will expire on November 30 next. After the expiry of the deadline, taxpayers will have to count fines for delay in submission of tax returns.
During visit to some mini-tax fairs in the city, this correspondent found that taxpayers were submitting tax returns with much enthusiasm.
Tax offices have arranged heath safety gear including thermometers and hand sanitizers apart from maintaining social distancing in the fairs.
Each of the tax offices is providing the taxpayers with all facilities in the mini-tax fairs like large-scale events.
Talking to the FE, tax commissioner of tax zone-13 Md Bazlul Kabir Bhuiyan said they were providing 'fastest' services to the taxpayers to avoid gathering.
"Taxmen are providing all types of assistance to the taxpayers to submit tax returns and obtain Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN) instantly from the tax fair."
They were also providing acknowledgement slips to the taxpayers just after submission of tax returns, he said, adding that tax fair started gaining momentum. "We expect that the tax fair will draw more visitors in the next week."
The tax offices were providing similar services in the tax circle offices too, Mr Bhuiyan said.
As of November 18, the tax zone-13 had received 7,688 tax returns and collected Tk 20.21 million taxes from the tax fair.
The tax commissioner said taxpayers can submit returns without any hassle in the mini-tax fairs. The activities of taxmen in the tax fairs are monitored through CCTV camera, he added.
AKM Badiul Alam, commissioner of tax zone-1, said they have received higher tax returns this year until November 19 compared to that of the same period last year.
"We have received some 15,000 tax returns with Tk 300 million taxes so far. Of the tax returns, some 8,500 were submitted in the booths of tax fair."
The zone has sent bulk SMS to its all taxpayers to make them aware of tax return submission. "It seems a boon to the tax zone," he added.
Mainly marginal taxpayers throng the tax fair while large taxpayers usually take time to file tax returns with the help of their lawyers, Mr Alam said.
Taxpayers were also found happy with the services provided at the mini-tax fairs.
Niloy Rahman, a private service-holder, said arrangement at the mini-tax fair was better compared to large-scale fair in one place.
"We had to stand in a long queue in the tax fair held at Officers' Club, but we are getting fastest services in the mini-tax fair."
There are several booths in the tax zone to provide taxpayers with services, he added.
It has been found that most of the taxpayers in the tax fair are marginal and salaried taxpayers.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is not holding the tax fairs on a large scale this year to avoid gathering of taxpayers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tax officials expect a significant rise in tax returns this year. Some 2.2 million taxpayers submitted tax returns across the country last year.
There are some 5.0 million taxpayers who have obtained TINs or tax identification numbers from NBR.
Tax officials said at least 70 per cent of the TIN-holders will submit tax returns this year while the rest are either unaware of the measure or left the country or deceased.
The NBR introduced one-page simple tax return form for the marginal taxpayers this year to make submission of tax returns easier.
However, many taxpayers were found to be unaware of the mini-tax fairs in the tax zones due to lack of sufficient campaign by NBR.