When the government has no knowledge of total number of foreigners working in Bangladesh, it has taken a move to motivate them to pay tax properly.
Accordingly, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to distribute leaflets among the foreign nationals who are engaged in various types of jobs in the country to ensure revenue collection from them, reports UNB.
"We've taken a decision to bring the serviceholder foreigners under the tax net and motivate them not to evade taxes," a senior official of the NBR told the news agency.
He said NBR leaflets will give the foreign nationals idea about the tax system of the county and knowledge to calculate their payable income taxes.
Some 85,486 foreign nationals of 44 countries are engaged in various types of jobs legally, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told parliament on 8 February 2018.
However, the revenue board authorities believe the actual number of the foreign nationals engaged in jobs in Bangladesh will be four to five times higher.
The decision to distribute leaflets among foreign nationals was taken at a board meeting held recently at the NBR with its chairman M Mosharraf Hossain in the chair.
The NBR official said that the leaflets will also be distributed in the diplomatic missions of various countries situated in Bangladesh through the foreign ministry.
The foreigners who will enter Bangladesh through air and land ports will get these leaflets and acquire some knowledge about the tax payment of their income from this country.
"The NBR has the information that a good number of foreign nationals are staying in the country without valid document and engaged in service in various trades. Taking this chance the local business houses don't give information about their foreign employees to the NBR, as a result the country is depriving of taxes," the NBR official said.
Some 35,386 Indians are involved in various types of jobs in Bangladesh which is highest from a single country. People of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, South Korea and some European and African countries are also working in Bangladesh.
Of the total numbers, 67,853 are businessmen, 8,300 experts, 3,682 officials, 2,105 players and sports organisers, 922 capital investors, 804 personal staff, 727 technical professionals, 561 NGO workers, 400 research or training staff and 132 are house assistants.
To stop income tax dodging by the foreigners, a new section has also been added to the Income Tax Ordinance in 2015-16 under which one will be jailed for three months to three years and be penalised Tk 500,000 or both if he/she appoints any foreigner national without prior permission of the authorities concerned. The companies will also lose tax holiday or exemption benefits.
All the foreigners are bound to pay 30 per cent tax on their income if they stay and work in the country for 90 days a year.