The National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Sunday asked its field offices to formulate a strategy keeping in mind the present condition and expedite the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) and thus achieve the revised revenue collection target.

"We're all aware of the recent situation, this situation may prevail or may improve. Whatever the situation is, we've to move forward formulating necessary strategies to achieve the target," NBR member (VAT Implementation and IT) M Jamal Hossain asked its field offices in a letter.

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The NBR member put emphasis on establishing intensive communication with big companies.

He also said officials will have to depend on items like cigarettes, mobile phone sets, banks, bkash, internet and medicines which pay higher revenue to the national exchequer.

"Besides, special attention needs to be given to collecting advance VAT and outstanding revenue," the NBR member said in the letter.

He said only one month and 19 days are left for the current 2019-20 fiscal year to be over. The revised VAT collection target is Tk 108,600 crore and the collection of VAT was Tk 67,769. 76 crore as of April 2020.

To collect the same amount of VAT as last year, which was Tk 87, 175.77 crore, the NBR needs to collect some 19,416 crore within the stipulated time, said Jamal Hossain.

"To achieve the revised target for VAT, the NBR needs to collect Tk 40,840.24 crore within the remaining May and June," he said.

In another letter, Jamal said a decision has been taken to reopen the VAT circle offices across the country on Friday (15 May) with a break for Jum'a prayers for the convenience of VAT payers to submit their VAT returns.

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He said 15 May is the last date for the submission of VAT returns for April as per the existing VAT Law. Although it is the government holiday, the VAT circle offices across the country will remain open till 4pm (or beyond, if needed).

"The officials will take all necessary precautionary and safety measurers for protecting themselves from coronavirus while discharging their duties, the commissioners will monitor the matters," the letter adds.