Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday called upon the accountants to maintain transparency and accountability in discharging their professional responsibilities.
He said accountants are the masters of the country’s accountancy profession and they are playing an extensive role in the development of the country.
The finance minister made the call while speaking online as the chief guest at the launch of ‘Document Verification System (DVS)’, held at a city hotel on Thursday.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) partnered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) to jointly develop the new software to verify audit reports.
The National board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Munim attended the programme as the special guest and ICAB president Muhammad Farooq delivered the welcome speech.
In his speech, Mr Kamal said the verification system will help boost revenue collection, which will greatly benefit the nation.
It is a matter of pride to develop such a system that would directly help the nation, he said.
He thanked the ICAB for coming up with the idea and making partnership with the revenue board to assist the government in its way to digitisation.
The NBR chairman said, “The system will obviously bring discipline in financial management and increase corporate tax collection.”
He said there are 176,000 companies in the country, of which 78,000 have tax identification numbers (TINs).
“Among them, only half submit tax return and it was found in investigation that many companies are producing fake or forged audit reports,” he said.
The incidences of audit report forgery harm the image of the ICAB, Mr Munim said.
“Why are there allegations that many companies make 3/4 reports for different purposes? Is there any ICAB member involved in such incidents, questions arises?” he added.
Thanking the ICAB for taking the initiative of developing the verification system, he said, this will definitely bring transparency in the process, which will led to higher tax collection.
“If revenue collection increases because of DVS, the government will reduce tax burden on corporate entities,” he said.
From now on, any registered accountant of a company will have to upload all the information, including every audited account report, in the gateway.
Through the process, tax officials will be able to verify whether the audited report submitted to the NBR is authentic.
Data from NBR’s database will be compared with ICAB’s DVS database. Institutions, whose audit reports and information are not available in the ICAB DVS database, will be under scrutiny, according to ICAB.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between the ICAB and NBR at the same event.
Under the MoU, the revenue authority will have a legal basis to use this system for verifying and sorting out the tax returns along with the financial statements.
ICAB’s DVS will be accessed by banks, financial institutions or other regulatory bodies, including the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).
NBR Member (Tax Policy) Alamgir Hossain and Convenor on ICAB Taskforce on DVS Mohammed Forkan Uddin also spoke at the event.