Use of certified software a must from Sep 1: NBR

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has made the use of its prescribed software mandatory for firms with annual turnover of Tk 5 crore and above for maintaining records and accounts from September 1.

The revenue collector imposed the condition as part of its scheme to implement the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 through automation of the VAT system.

Companies that already use the software will have to apply to the NBR for approval to use the system, according to the order issued on June 30.

This is the second time the NBR has set a deadline for firms to use its prescribed software to keep records of transactions and accounts with a view to ensuring that the actual amount of the indirect tax is coming to the state coffer.

The NBR had earlier fixed the deadline of January 2019.

However, it did not enforce the rule for its delay in finalising the names of eligible firms to make the system.

In February, the revenue collector named 11 firms eligible to develop the software.

Transparency and accountability would be established if enterprises use the software, said Abdul Mannan Shikder, member of VAT policy of the NBR.

“As they will have to maintain accounts and keep records of their transactions in line with our prescribed format, the scope of confusion and misunderstanding will diminish.”

The software used by businesses would be connected with a server at the NBR.

“This means, they will not have to visit us with a lot of papers. As a result, the cost of compliance will decline,” Shikder said, adding that the use of software will make record-keeping for businesses simpler.

The NBR in its order said companies that are using the NBR-prescribed software will have to update their systems within this month by incorporating the changes brought in the VAT law for fiscal 2019-20.

Companies that are not obliged to use the software will also have the freedom to install the prescribed system by procuring it from enlisted developers.

The software must have features for full automation of business process in line with the VAT law, which has come into effect from July 1 after a delay of seven years.